Zambia: Gays deserve rights, regardless of theology

At a time when Zambia is cracking down on LGBT rights activists, the Rev.  Kapya Kaoma of Zambia and the United States provides this eloquent plea for gay rights:

The Rev. Canon Kapya Kaoma (Photo courtesy of Truth Wins Out)
The Rev. Canon Dr. Kapya Kaoma (Photo courtesy of Truth Wins Out)

Friends, gays may be sinners but they are humans with rights. I may believe drunkards will go to hell and that women are inferior to men but that does not justify the denial of their rights. I may consider smoking evil but to persecute those who smoke is wrong.Nobody is promoting homosexuality – we have gays in our midst. They may be hiding but they are our brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, friends and workmates. They attend church, sing in our choirs, tithe and in some cases they are our pastors and priests. But they also cry, bleed and die.

Please let us live to disagree but never sacrifice our common humanity. African gays will not get their rights without a fight – and all those who understand their plight will stand with them until their rights are realized. As for now, let us preach love for God is love.

An Anglican priest, Kaoma is a religion and sexuality researcher for Political Research Associates and the rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Hyde Park, Mass.  Kaoma wrote the report “Globalizing the Culture Wars: U.S. Conservatives, African Churches, and Homophobia.”

Read his full commentary in the Lusaka Times: “Zambia : Does God Make Mistakes? Addressing the issue of Gays.”

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, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him at


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