One of the big items in the news lately has been the anti-homosexuality legislation that has been adopted in Uganda. Uganda has traditionally taken a hard stand against same-sex activity but this is the imposing of stricter sanctions.
You can find the actual details of the law here.
I noticed on social media that some conservative Christians have suggested that the law is actually not that bad. To be honest, part of this reaction is because of the response by some on the left.
Some reports have suggested that the new legislation allows for the death penalty against those convicted of same-sex activity. This is only partially true.
As those who have responded have stated, the law allows for the death penalty against those convicted of “aggravated homosexuality.” This refers to same-sex activity that includes vulnerable persons such as children, seniors, or people with disabilities.
It has been argued by some conservatives that this penalty is quite appropriate in those cases. While I would strongly condemn any sexual abuse against vulnerable persons and believe that there should be serious consequences, I don’t support the death penalty even for murder.
But that aside, does this mean that there is nothing wrong with the Ugandan law? Is is just protecting vulnerable persons?
The section about “aggravated homosexuality” is just one part of this law. It also includes the penalties for sexual acts between two consenting adults. A person convicted of the crime of homosexuality can be sentenced to up to life in prison. Even an attempt at a same-sex act could lead to ten years in prison.
I’m sure that there are some western conservatives, including within the church, who still would not have a problem with this. They probably are nostalgic for the times when same-sex activity was illegal in Canada and the United States.
However, most people, even if they are not the type to march in a Pride parade, identify as LGBTQ+ or as an ally, would have some concerns about this legislation.
Same-sex relationships, when between two consenting adults, do not cause harm to others. A person might not agree with that relationship, but they are no hurt by it. Life imprisonment does not seem to be a punishment that fits the “crime.”
LGBTQ+ people are just trying to live their lives and they deserve to have that freedom. Of course abuse should be punished, but that goes for abuse that includes any gender combination.
I believe that Christians have a place, even if they don’t personally approve of same-sex relationships, to speak out against this terrible piece of legislation that will cause so much suffering to innocent people in Uganda.
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