Ugandan archbishop hints that anti-gay bill goes too far

Archbishop Stanley Ntagali
Archbishop Stanley Ntagali

Perhaps there’s a glimmer of hope for a more humane Church of Uganda now that  new Archbishop Stanley Ntagali has taken over from newly retired Henry Orombi, who was a strong advocate of the repressive Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

Don’t be too optimistic. After all, Ntagali said in an interview published in AllAfrica.com,  “I will not do anything different from what my predecessor … did.”

But Ntagali acknowledged that he has reservations about the bill, which failed to reach the floor of the Ugandan parliament this year despite intense pressure from Orombi and many evangelical Christian leaders.

There’s far from any guarantee that Ntagali will take a more moderate position than Orombi did if the bill is again proposed during the parliament’s 2013 session. But Ntagali said of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill that he “may not go very far as the bill says. All of us are capable of getting God’s saving grace and forgiveness, including the homosexuals.”

The bill would require people to report suspected homosexuals to police, including parents of gay children. The bill would also provide a life sentence or, in its original form, the death penalty for people convicted of repeated homosexual activity.

Ntagali made clear that he supports laws against homosexual acts. Here are excerpts from his interview in AllAfrica.com:

Your predecessor Orombi stood firm on issues of homosexuality to the detriment of relations with the Church of England. Will you continue with his rebellious approach?

It’s not being rebellious. It is being obedient to the holy scriptures in the Holy Bible which is our constitution as a church. It’s being obedient to the Bible, the teaching of Jesus Christ, the apostolic faith which is our Christian heritage we inherited from the Apostles, the people who worked and lived with Jesus Christ.

I will not do anything different from what my predecessor, the retiring Archbishop Orombi, did. Firstly, I have been a member of the House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda and we resolved not to associate with anybody, any church, any province in the world which condones homosexuality or promotes it.

That wasn’t an Orombi position. It was the position of the church of Uganda. The Biblical way and God’s way is one man, one wife. That will remain my position and the position of the Church of Uganda.

Outgoing Archbishop Henry Orombi (left) greets new Archbishop Stanley Ntagali. (Photo courtesy of the Monitor)
Outgoing Archbishop Henry Orombi (left) greets new Archbishop Stanley Ntagali. (Photo courtesy of the Monitor)

So, do you support the anti- homosexuality bill now in Parliament?

Is that the most important part in the bill? What the bill is after is to protect children, family not only today and but the future. Our Constitution says that homosexuality is illegal; so, Parliament is trying to put in place a mechanism to ensure that [some] people will not misuse the people of Uganda and bring them whatever they want. We want to have the law that will protect Ugandans.

The Church, however, preaches grace and forgiveness. That’s where we may not go very far as the bill says. All of us are capable of getting God’s saving grace and forgiveness including the homosexuals but there should be a law so that people don’t do anything as if there is no law.

Uganda as a country respects culture and from that culture, we can’t allow anything evil to come and destroy our culture and our position as people who agreed to heterosexual marriage.

At the service on Sunday that elevated him to primate of the Church of Uganda, Ntagali continued the practice of describing homosexuality not as a natural part of God’s creation, but as one of many horrible evils.

“He pledged to work towards reviving believers’ commitment to God as a way of helping the country fight the rampant evils such as defilement, homosexuality, child sacrifice and domestic violence,” the Ugandan Monitor newspaper reported.

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, and editor/publisher of Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at [email protected]

9 Comments

Leave a Reply
  1. To be honest. the world is coming to an end and these are the signs. tell me how comes before these acts were never heard of.
    and i really don’t get the science. as scientists have a way of proving homosexuality they have not given me how it occurs. Because all i know unlike pole attract and like pole repeal. to be honest its fake, its all about the money and sex. nothing real about it and most of expanding the devils work.
    We are leaving in the end days all you can do is pray for your children……..
    And what is this bullshit about bishops and priests gays marrying. false leaders in our midst
    Its such a pity that homos know the truth and they continue. Lord please come back and end this world before what happened to sodom and gomorrah happens again. Genesis18:16-19:29.

    Homosexuality is an illicit lust forbidden by God. He said to His people Israel, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination” (Leviticus 18:22). “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them” (Leviticus 20:13). In these passages homosexuality is condemned as a prime example of sin, a sexual perversion. The Christian can neither alter God’s viewpoint nor depart from it.

    • Hi, Rosette —

      Do you feel as strongly about the other “abominations” prohibited in the Old Testament — eating with Egyptians, eating shellfish and accepting interest on a loan — or do you only get worked up about homosexuality? If you’re only upset about homosexuality, please ponder whether your anti-gay energy actually is fed by fear of people who are different from you rather than by a loving God.

      Blessings,
      Colin Stewart
      Editor/publisher of the Erasing 76 Crimes blog

Leave a Reply

Prison for being gay — Roger Mbede loses appeal

Cameroon jail looms for Roger Mbede; death threats for lawyers