An online petition to two Anglican archbishops seeks an end to an anti-gay purge of allegedly homosexual priests in Kenya and an open invitation to LGBTI people to join the Anglican church.
The petition, launched on Change.org by Anglo-Nigerian activist Davis Mac-Iyalla, is addressed to Eliud Wabukala, archbishop of the Anglican Church of Kenya, and Justin Welby, archbishop of Canterbury, who is the spiritual leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
It comes at the same time as an online petition to Pope Francis, urging him to “condemn violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people all over the world.” The petition to Pope Francis is sponsored by IGLHRC, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.
The Anglican petition states:
Dear Archbishops Justin and Eliud, please clarify that it’s wrong to say, as the Kenyan bishop Joseph Kagunda did, that homosexuals are unwelcome.
Kagunda was quoted in Kenya’s Daily Nation and this blog, “Anyone who feels that homosexuals and gay marriages should be allowed in Church should find a different denomination.”
The petition comments:
“That’s so wrong, whatever people’s stand is on marriage equality.”
It further quotes Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa in his rejection of anti-LGBTI attitudes. Tutu rejects the idea that God is pleased with homophobia:
“I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place. … I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this.”
The petition to the Pope comes as he prepares for his first trip to the United States. It states:
“Too often public figures call for the exclusion – in extreme cases even the killing – of LGBTIQ people, creating an atmosphere where youth must flee their homes and adults are forced from their communities. Millions of youth are homeless around the world, while even more are jobless, due to discrimination on the basis of who they are or whom they love.
“I urge you to speak out against discrimination, anti-LGBTIQ laws and all forms of violence against LGBTIQ people as you visit Washington D.C., New York, the United Nations as well as during your upcoming trip to Uganda. In Uganda, coming out as LGBTIQ could mean 14 years in jail, and a new proposed law would make it a crime to even talk about this! Demand that LGBTIQ people have equal rights to social services as well as employment opportunities, because, as you have said, “Today we have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality.”
“With the power of your words, you can help alleviate poverty for millions of people all over the world. Stand and speak for equality for ALL.”