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Leaders of Anglican Communion speak out against anti-LGBT violence, laws

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, spiritual heads of the worldwide Anglican Communion, have called upon Church leaders and the presidents of Nigeria and Uganda to support and care for all people “regardless of sexual orientation.”

Dr. John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York (left) and Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury.

Dr. John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York (left) and Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury.

In a letter, sent to Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan and Uganda President Yoweri Museveni, and primates of churches in the Anglican Communion, Archbishops Justin Welby and John Sentamu spoke out against the “victimisation or diminishment” of LGBT people.

They also stated that church leaders should be “committed to the pastoral support and care” of gay people.

The action follows an online petition by Nigerian LGBT rights advocate Davis Mac-Iyalla, who urged the Archbishops to speak out against the harsh new anti-gay law signed earlier this month in Nigeria, and appealed to them to advocate against anti-LGBT legislation in Uganda.

Religious leaders throughout Nigeria’s churches and mosques have recently made anti-LGBT statements in support of Nigeria’s anti-gay law, which Mac-Iyalla said is “incentivizing violence and ‘mob justice’ against LGBT people.”

While the Archbishops’ letter stressed that gay “people that they are children of God, loved and valued by Him,” it did not mention directly the anti-gay law of Nigeria nor Uganda’s harsh anti-LGBT bill.

“In recent days, questions have been asked about the Church of England’s attitude to new legislation in several countries that penalizes people with same-sex attraction,” they wrote. “In answer to these questions, we have recalled the common mind of the Primates of the Anglican Communion, as expressed in the Dromantine Communiqué of 2005.”

“We wish to make it quite clear that in our discussion and assessment of moral appropriateness of specific human behaviors, we continue unreservedly to be committed to the pastoral support and care of homosexual people,” the letter said.

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“The victimisation or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us. We assure homosexual people that they are children of God, loved and valued by Him and deserving the best we can give – pastoral care and friendship.”

Mac-Iyalla tells LGBTQ Nation that he welcomes “Archbishops of Canterbury and York letter, and their call for pastoral support and care of LGBT people.”

“A number of leading Anglican clerics in Africa, and in particular in Nigeria, have been making statements that amount to incitement to violence against LGBT people,” he said. “The statement is a step in the right direction as it clarifies the pastoral duties of important religious figures, like the primate of Nigeria’s Anglican Church, Okoh, towards LGBT people in Nigeria.”

Mac-Iyalla also criticized British Prime Minister David Cameron, who “said he is not going to Sochi but has remained silent on Nigeria’s anti-gay law and its resulting persecution of LGBT people.”

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21 more reader comments:

  1. Yes! Go, my fellow Anglicans!

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:28pm
  2. Great to see some more religious leaders on the right side

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:48pm
  3. Religion what is it good for? Caused many wars, spread hate and persecution. Fight the real enemy, fight religion!

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 4:18pm
  4. surprising and hopeful

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 4:41pm
  5. About time some one speaks up

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 4:43pm
  6. About time.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 4:49pm
  7. Proud to be an Anglican

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 5:12pm
  8. John Benoot, religion itself doesn’t start wars or spread hate. It is PEOPLE who commit acts of violence against one another. People may use religion as an excuse, but they still have free will and made those choices. And to say that religion as a whole represents hate is a broad generalization; it is no different than when people judge a minority based on a stereotype. Try picking up a book and educating yourself instead of generalizing and spreading what is actually just another form of the very hate you claim to be against.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 6:18pm
  9. She looks so cunty in her red hat.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 6:22pm
  10. Too bad they don’t do it here in the USA. The Bishop of NW Indiana is a homophobe.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 8:03pm
  11. Hope it is not too late to turn the tide of anti-gay cruelity!

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 8:09pm
  12. Hope it is not too late to turn the tide of cruel behavior toward LGBT Africans.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 8:10pm
  13. Great!

    Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 12:18am
  14. Amen! Hopefully all the so called Christian Bigots in Africa are listening.

    Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 5:30am
  15. This gives me hope: religious leaders being nice!

    Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 7:17am
  16. Blah, blah, blah.. same old bull. Nothing will change.

    Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 9:29am
  17. Fake priests

    Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 10:46am
  18. Quit complaining dont buy from africa do actvisim

    Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 11:42am
  19. It’s good to be Christian! (anti- gay laws are not Christian!)

    Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 12:57pm
  20. John Benoot… how respecting other people and quit lieing… people start wars… grow up.

    Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 1:48pm
  21. We still have so far to go.

    Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 2:32pm