The Archbishop of Canterbury has spoken out against the recent passage of an inhumane Ugandan law banning homosexuality. Justin Welby, who acts as the senior-most cleric of the Church of England, wrote to Uganda’s Archbishop, Stephen Kaziimba, last week condemning Uganda’s recent Anti-Homosexuality Act.
In his letter, Welby writes: “I am deeply aware of the history of colonial rule in Uganda, so heroically resisted by its people. But this is not about imposing Western values on our Ugandan Anglican sisters and brothers. It is about reminding them of the commitments we have made as Anglicans to treat every person with the care and respect they deserve as children of God.”
The letter follows the recent passing of this anti-LGBTQ+ act in Uganda. According to Pink News, the act “introduces laws prohibiting Ugandan citizens from advocating for promoting LGBTQ+ rights on top of already stringent laws against consensual same-sex intimacy.”
The law was signed by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on May 29 after 341 out of 389 members of parliament supported it. The law is so severe it requires the death penalty for those who engage in same-sex relations while HIV positive.
In addition to condemning Uganda, Welby also asked that the Global Anglican Future Conference and the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches state that these laws are against their values.
“There is no justification for any province of the Anglican Communion to support such laws,” Welby wrote. “Not in our resolutions, not in our teachings, and not in the Gospel we share.”
Though many are glad that Welby is speaking out on these issues, the archbishop has been inconsistent on whether or not he supports same-sex couples and marriage. Welby has before apologized for the Church of England’s treatment of LGBTQ+ people, yet has also refused to bless them.