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“No One Should Have to Live in Fear Simply because of Who They Are”

Letter from Religious Leaders to the Ugandan Government

As leaders of diverse religious communities, we call on you to stop the verbal assaults and legal attacks of your government on the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LBGT) people. All religious traditions demand that we care for the neighbor and the oppressed among us and that we uphold the dignity of every person. No one should have to live in fear simply because of who they are.

We are particularly concerned that members of your government have called for criminal action against people solely because of whom they love and have censored and silenced attempts by LGBT people to speak on their own behalf. These actions only promote fear, profound isolation and invisibility.

Like you, we are committed to building bridges of understanding across divides of difference in which the values of justice, solidarity, compassion, equality and human dignity are values we are called on not only to preach but to live. These are not just our principles but are consistent with Uganda's commitments to human rights. As you know, the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights affirms the equality of all people and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights protects the right to equality, freedom of expression, freedom of conscience, freedom of assembly, and freedom of association. We are only asking that you hold up the solid principles your government espouses.

Open aggression against LGBT people is especially devastating in the context of the HIV pandemic. Discrimination and stigma contribute to misinformation and fear. The pandemic can only be stopped with prevention, treatment, care and support in enabling environments that protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout the process.

We reach out to you in fellowship and ask that you publicly condemn all harassment against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in Uganda. Uganda is a rich and diverse country that has the potential to be a model for the rest of the world of compassion and justice.

Sincerely,

Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Archbishop
Anglican Church of Southern Africa

Rev. Pat Bumgardner, Chair
Moderator's Global Justice Team
Metropolitan Community Churches

Rev. Nancy L. Wilson, Moderator
Metropolitan Community Churches

Rev. Elder Arlene Ackerman
Father F. Luke Adams, Jr.
Rev. Kharma Amos; Pastor
John Paul Andaquig, Secretary
Father Jerry R. Anderson
Mia Andersen, Pastor
Rev. Dr. Peter M. Antoci
Robert Bayer
Rev. Mark G. Bidwell, Senior Pastor
Rev. David Bieniek
Dr David Bilchitz, Chairperson
Rev. Lea D. Brown, Pastor
Mary Peter Bruce, SL
Michael Callaway, Secretary
Rev. Dr. Jan Carlsson-Bull, Minister
Linda S. Comins
Rev. Jennifer M. Creswell, Pastoral Associate
Rev. Carlos Cruz
Rev. Dr Judy Dahl
Rev. Dee Dale, Senior Pastor
Christopher DiMaio, M.D.
Rev. Jennifer L. Paty M.Div, Senior Pastor
Dr. Ann Drake
Revd Jon Dean
Rev. Patricia Drost, Priest-in-Charge
Rev. Dr. Eileen Dumire
Rev. Ted E. Durst
Rev. Terri Echelbarger, Senior Pastor
Gunhild Ettestoel, Secretary
Thomas J. Fehr, Seminarian
Bishop Diane Fisher
Rev. Karen Foster
Grace Garner, Legislative Assistant
Rev. Charles Robert Garrison, Pastor
Rev Debbie Gaston, Senior Pastor
Rev. David Gillentine, Associate Pastor
Rev. Jennifer Glass, Administrative Assistant
Rev. Elizabeth Goudy, Pastor
Rev. T. Paul Graetz, Senior Pastor
Lan Green, Member and Chorister
Bridget Wilson Hall
Lee Hall, Alternate Lay Delegate
Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes, Senior Pastor
Rev. Fr. Japé Heath, Priest
Rev. Pat Hendrickson, Deacon
Rev. Mick Hinson, Pastor
Rev. Michael W. Hopkins, Rector
Ralph Intorcio
Rev. Anne James
Rev. Johnathan C Jones, Pastor
David Kato, Secretary
Rev. Dr. Sherry L. Kennedy
Debra Kolodny
Adam Michael Kratt, Bishop
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald
Joel L. Kushner, Psy.D.
Rev. Ken Ramon-Landry
Rev. Dr. Ken Brooker Langston
Rev. Ron LaRocque, Interim Pastor
David Lohman
Rev. Samuel Loudenslager, Deacon
Rev. Dr. Cindi Love
Anthony Lucero
Rev. Regen R. Luna, ULCS, Interim Pastoral Leader & Moderator
Rev Rowland Jide Macaulay, Pastor
Rev. Elder Debbie Martin, Pastor
Rev. Elder Ken Martin
Rev. Joe McMurray, Pastor
Rev. Kerri Mesner, Senior Pastor
Rev. Carolyn J. Mobley, Interim Pastor
Rev. Robert P. Morrison
Rev. Lance Mullins, Pastor
Rev. Jill Nelson, Pastor
Rev. Gard Realf H. Nielsen
Rev. June Norris
Rev. Susan B. P. Norris, Associate
Rev. Dr. Frodo Okulam
Rev. Dennis j. Parker, Interim Rector
Rev. Vicki Pedersen, Pastor
Rev. David M. Pelletier, Senor Pastor
Troy D. Perry, Moderator Emeritus, Bishop
Rev. Troy Plummer
Rev. Cathy Porter, Pastor
Rev. Linn Possell, Pastor
Rev. Carolyn Dusty Pruitt
Rev Hilde Raastad, Pastor
Rev. Marge Ragona
Sylvia Rhue, Ph.D.
Rev. Canon Timothy T. Rich
Rev. Jean M. Rowe, Minister Emerita
Rev. Barbara S. Sagat, Pastor
John Stockwell Samuels
Rev. Joan M. Saniuk, Doctoral Researcher
Barbara Satin, Faith Work Consultant
Rev. Dr. Rick Schlosser
Rev. Dr. Candace R. Shultis, Pastor
Rev. William G. Sinkford
Rev. Dr. Jane Adams Spahr, Presbyterian Minister
Rev. Danny A. Spears, Pastor
Nils Jøran Riedl, University Chaplain
Rev. Robert E. Stiefel, Ph.D, Coordinator and Advisor
Donald M Stitt
Rev. Pressley Sutherland, Senior Pastor
Rev. Tyrone P. Sweeting, Interim Pastor
Rev. David B. Tarbet
Rev. Angie Thinnes, Pastor
Rev. Peter Trabaris, Senior Pastor
Rev. Rebecca Voelkel, Faith Work Program Director
Rev. Durrell Watkins, M.A., M.Div., Canon Precentor & Canon Pastor-elect
Rev. Canon Daniel Weir, Rector
Mike Wernick, Postulant for Holy Orders
Rev. Carol Wise
Rev. Kermie Wohlenhuas, Ph.D, Interim Minister
Dawn Wolfe
Rev. Sue Yarber
Rev. Dr. C. Denise Yarbrough, Rector
Rev. Edwin Yates, Pastor
Rev. Nori Zeliff, Pastor
Phillip Zimmerman, RSJ

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