Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Uganda criminalizes homosexuality.

Follow up.

Uganda newspaper outs 200 ...
KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) -- A Ugandan newspaper published a list Tuesday of what it called the country's "200 top" homosexuals, outing some Ugandans who previously had not identified themselves as gay one day after the president enacted a harsh anti-gay law.
Many of those named fear violence, and some want to leave the country, an activist said. - AP
India re-criminalizes homosexuality.
Back in 2009, Lesley Esteves was dancing in the streets after judges in Delhi decriminalised homosexuality. When the Delhi High Court suspended the draconian Section 377 of the Indian penal code which dated from the days of British rule, India’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community thought there was no turning back.
Five years on the euphoria has gone. In December, the country’s highest court overturned the lower court’s ruling, once again making gay sex a crime punishable by up to ten years in jail and putting tens of millions of Indians at risk of prosecution or harassment. Last month, that court – which had said gay people in India were just a “minuscule minority” – upheld its decision against an appeal and said it was up to the government to change the law. - The Independent 
Gay people say the Catholic Church endorses such legislation.  That is not true.
VATICAN CITY -- After opposing a United Nations declaration that called for the decriminalization of homosexuality last month, the Vatican issued its own call to eliminate criminal penalties for homosexuality.

“The Holy See appreciates the attempts made in [the declaration] to condemn all forms of violence against homosexual persons as well as urge states to take necessary measures to put an end to all criminal penalties against them,” the statement said.
But the Vatican said that the U.N. declaration “goes beyond this goal and instead gives rise to uncertainty in the law and challenges existing human rights norms.” 
“The Catholic church maintains that free sexual acts between adult persons must not be treated as crimes to be punished by civil authorities. - NCR 

Clearly, the Roman Catholic Church opposes unjust discrimination and violence against homosexual persons.
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition. - CCC
Statement of the Holy See to the UN condemning " all forms of violence against homosexual persons as well as urge States to take necessary measures to put an end to all criminal penalties against them.":
The Holy See appreciates the attempts made in the statement on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity –presented at the UN General Assembly on 18 December 2008- to condemn all forms of violence against homosexual persons as well as urge States to take necessary measures to put an end to all criminal penalties against them.
At the same time, the Holy See notes that the wording of this statement goes well beyond the above mentioned and shared intent.
In particular, the categories ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’, used in the text, find no recognition or clear and agreed definition in international law. If they had to be taken into consideration in the proclaiming and implementing of fundamental rights, these would create serious uncertainty in the law as well as undermine the ability of States to enter into and enforce new and existing human rights conventions and standards.
Despite the statement’s rightful condemnation of and protection from all forms of violence against homosexual persons, the document, when considered in its entirety, goes beyond this goal and instead gives rise to uncertainty in the law and challenges existing human rights norms.
The Holy See continues to advocate that every sign of unjust discrimination towards homosexual persons should be avoided and urges States to do away with criminal penalties against them. - Vatican 

As far as I know, the Holy See has not responded to the latest developments in Uganda and elsewhere, but neither have they given evidence they support criminal penalties against homosexuals.


  1. Ugandan (and Nigerian) Roman Catholic bishops support the legislation.

  2. The bishop of Uganda certainly did, which always makes me wonder why trad Catholics look on you with disbelief when you question a Church leader's decisions (well you know, as long as THEY agree with the leader.) Also is interesting is that many reports are concentrating on the cultural and political climate of the bishops who support the bills (many come from heavily Muslim areas.) Which also makes me wonder why some people never question the cultural and political context of biblical writings.

    However, the Church itself and both Benedict and Francis and their emissaries have been vocal in criticizing these laws.Of course its the bane of trad Caths, the Jesuits who came out with a written piece criticizing this ("Them Jesuits just keep thinkin they are sooo smart!!")

    An interesting quote from the Catholic Reporter on this," The Christian Church must learn how to promote family life without attacking the human dignity of gay men and women. That is foundational. It is a sin to do otherwise. " I won't quibble that we ARE part of family life but its a good thought, and Christian' s have failed miserably on this.

  3. I could argue both sides of this. If you are going to make sodomy illegal I think consistency calls for making fornication and adultery and group sex illegal as well. Perhaps also S & M too. Of course, perverted sexual liaisons bring in another level of immorality, but where we are discussing consenting adults some things should be left to God to sort out.

    On the other hand, perversion often moves to another whole level of assault: child rape, torture, etc. Terrible to think about.

  4. The problem with these kinds of things is that they seem to be less motivated by genuine moral concerns and more by scapegoating, which opens up the door to MAJOR abuses, as well as wrist-slapping for people who do commit acts of violence against such persons. And let's not pretend that in countries like Uganda and Nigeria, the justice system operates on a n "innocent until proven guilty" rationale.

    Shame on the bishops of those countries for supporting this. NOT because there is any human right to sodomy or sexual freedom, but because the ONLY purpose these laws can possibly serve is to allow cover for those who will treat these people with fierce and violent hatred, as well a context for false accusations and political bullying. The "outing" of people in the newspaper is disgusting, and not even the medieval Inquisition would have countenanced such naked barbarism.


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