Renowned Pentecostal pastor Joyce Meyers has described Uganda’s Anti Homosexuality Bill as profoundly offensive, dangerous and disturbing” in a statement she issued yesterday.
Through her Joyce Meyers Ministries, she said that the bill is an attack on individual liberties and human rights of people in Uganda.
“Our missions and ministry message has always been to teach that the Word of God is about helping people – all people – learn that God loves them and has a purpose for their lives, not put guilt or condemnation on them,” the statement reads in part.
The Anti Homosexuality Bill proposed by Ndorwa West MP, David Bahati seeks to put heavier punishments to people engaged in homosexuality and punish those who fail to report people engaged in same sex relations. Among others, the bill proposes a death penalty for those who engage in homosexuality with minors and homosexuals who are infected with HIV.
It also proposes a four year jail and heavy fine for anyone who fails to report someone they know is engaged in homosexuality related actions.
Buy Joyce Meyers says “this hostile legislation will also further, and adversely, serve as a major setback in the global health efforts to combat Uganda’s AIDS epidemic and reduce the record-high infection rates among the country’s HIV population, an already at-risk community that could be further ostracized, threatened, and targeted as potential criminals”.
The statement follows intense pressure on Joyce Meyer whose evangelical shows are widely broadcast in Uganda and has herself made two trips to the East African country, to pronounce herself on the proposed legislation that has generated a lot debate in Uganda and abroad.
“As a global society, we do not have to agree, endorse or condone the lifestyle choices of others. However, history has taught us that we equally cannot and should not excuse those who would hide behind religion or misuse God’s word to justify bigotry and persecution,” Meyer says.
Joyce Meyer Ministries say while their intention is not to interfere in the politics and internal affairs of Uganda, they have a moral and ethical duty as “believers” to speak out against injustice wherever it may be in the world.
Churches, President cautious on Homosexuality Bill
The Anti homosexuality Bill which is supported by most sections of Uganda was tabled before Parliament, although Uganda President Yoweri Museveni has warned MPs against discussing or passing the bill before consulting with his cabinet to ensure the country’s interests are protected.
Museveni’s government has been under pressure from different international human rights organizations and governments, and has even received a call from US Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton over the bill.
The Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Uganda have also distanced themselves from the bill reasoning that homosexuals need spiritual and moral guidance instead of condemnation and prosecution. They are also concerned that many clerics will be arrested if homosexual followers confide in them.