The focus of this year’s conference will be:
- Safety and protection of LGBTI human rights defenders in Uganda.
- Formation of a national pro-LGBTI religious leaders forum.
- The status of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in parliament.
The Rev. Mark Kiyimba of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Uganda is campaign manager of the Standing on Side of Love Project in Uganda.
The most outspoken clergy in Uganda tend to seek increased penalties for LGBTI people rather than protection for them. The Church of Uganda (Anglican) and many evangelical Protestant churches have been active supporters of the Anti-Homosexuality bill, which earned the label “Kill the Gays” bill because at least its original version (and the current version, many say) provided for the death penalty for repeat offenders.
The Roman Catholic Church in Uganda has been relatively quiet about the bill, but last year Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga was at least in attendance at a meeting of religious leaders that endorsed the bill.
In contrast, Kiyimba has been a prominent opponent of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, as has retired Anglican Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, founder of the St. Paul’s Reconciliation and Equality Center in Kampala.
Participants are this year’s conference will include human rights defenders, donors, civil society institutions, pro-LGBTI religious leader and the members of the general public. During the conference, participants will exchange ideas and experiences on LGBTI rights issues and the next steps to take to protect and improve the safety of LGBTI people in Uganda.
Local sponsors are:
- Youth on Rock Foundation
- Unitarian Universalist Church of Uganda
- St. Paul’s Reconciliation and Equality Center