Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Archbishop Tutu: “I would never worship a homophobic God”

Washington, DC – Desmond Tutu, emeritus Archbishop of Cape Town, issued a strong protest against African politicians and clerics who are persecuting LGBT people throughout the African continent.  In a powerfully worded editorial published in Friday’s Washington Post, the Nobel Peace Prize winner denounced anti-gay laws and policies in Uganda, Malawi, Rwanda, Burundi, Senegal, and Kenya.  Since perpetrators of anti-LGBT violence use Christian rhetoric and scripture in support of their crimes against gays and lesbians, The Unfinished Lives Project quotes at length here from the text of the editorial in order to begin to redress the perception that God, Christ, and the Church are in solidarity against LGBT people.  It is our hope that religious leaders of conscience throughout the world will join Archbishop Tutu in undercutting religious and spiritual bigotry wherever it arises. The Archbishop writes: Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people are part of so many families. They are part of the human family. They are part of God’s family. And of course they are part of the African family. But a wave of hate is spreading across my beloved continent. People are again being denied their fundamental rights and freedoms. Men have been falsely charged and imprisoned in Senegal, and health services for these men and their community have suffered. In Malawi, men have been jailed and humiliated for expressing their partnerships with other men. Just this month, mobs in Mtwapa Township, Kenya, attacked men they suspected of being gay. Kenyan religious leaders, I am ashamed to say, threatened an HIV clinic there for providing counseling services to all members of that community, because the clerics wanted gay men excluded.

“Uganda’s parliament is debating legislation that would make homosexuality punishable by life imprisonment, and more discriminatory legislation has been debated in Rwanda and Burundi.

“These are terrible backward steps for human rights in Africa.

“Our lesbian and gay brothers and sisters across Africa are living in fear.

“And they are living in hiding — away from care, away from the protection the state should offer to every citizen and away from health care in the AIDS era, when all of us, especially Africans, need access to essential HIV services. That this pandering to intolerance is being done by politicians looking for scapegoats for their failures is not surprising. But it is a great wrong. An even larger offense is that it is being done in the name of God. Show me where Christ said ‘Love thy fellow man, except for the gay ones.’ Gay people, too, are made in my God’s image. I would never worship a homophobic God.”

The Archbishop leaves no room for misunderstanding: “Hate,” he writes, “has no place in the house of God.” We at Unfinished Lives could not agree with him more.

March 16, 2010 - Posted by | "Kill the Gays Bill", Africa, Anti-LGBT hate crime, anti-LGBT hate crime murder, gay men, harassment, Hate Crimes, Heterosexism and homophobia, Law and Order, Legislation, Lesbian women, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Politics, religious hate speech, religious intolerance, Social Justice Advocacy, Washington, D.C. | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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