August 23, 2010
In February, a brave gay Ugandan man living in exile appeared at the National Press Club in Washington with a paper bag over his head to denounce Uganda's draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill. He wore the mask to conceal his identity because he feared for his life.
Today, Kushaba Moses Mworeko took off his mask to urge the African Anglican Bishops at the All African Bishops Conference in Entebbe to speak out against Uganda's "Kill the Gays Bill" and other forms of anti-gay discrimination on the continent.
"It is time for Christian leaders in Africa to start promoting peace and stop persecuting LGBT people," said Kushaba Moses Mworeko, who is now living in the United States. "I call on the Anglican Church to speak out forcefully against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill and to support decriminalizing gay relationships across the continent. As the church grows in Africa it must choose to be a force for good and not intolerance."
Speakers claimed that the continent would have 673 million Christians by 2025 and lead Christendom in the 21st century. Egyptian Bishop Mouneer Anis spoke of the significance of this meeting when he told bishops from more than 400 dioceses, "There is no doubt that history is going to record what happens at this conference for future generations. This is no ordinary conference because it's happening in an extraordinary context."
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, spoke at the event, but has yet to effectively use his bully pulpit to shape a more accepting environment towards LGBT people in Africa.
"The All African Bishops Conference offers Rowan Williams a unique opportunity to show leadership and moral clarity by denouncing Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill," said Mworeko. "I urge the Archbishop of Canterbury to show some backbone and set a positive tone for the Anglican Church in Africa. His silence will be seen as a green light for the witch hunts against the LGBT community to continue."
In a new Youtube video, Mworeko sent a message of hope for his LGBT brothers and sisters still living in Uganda.
"We shall continue fighting for our rights and the time to fight is now," said Mworeko. "This is about liberty, this is about equality, this is about justice. We are here to reclaim our freedom."
"If Moses has the courage to put his life at risk to speak out against intolerance and injustice, the least Rowan Williams can do is acknowledge the inhumanity of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill while he is at this conference," said Truth Wins Out's Executive Director Wayne Besen. His indifference to suffering of LGBT people in Africa and worldwide is a great stain on his legacy. Only by finding his voice on this issue can Williams reverse the damage that has occurred on his watch."