C&SAYM of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers): Statement on Uganda Anti-homosexuality Law

Central and Southern Africa Yearly Meeting (C&SAYM) of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
Statement on the anti-homosexuality law signed by President Museveni in Uganda in February 2014

April 2014

As Quakers we affirm the love of God for all and respect the human rights of all people. In our view, the rejection of people on the grounds of their sexual orientation is a denial of God’s creation. Each one of us is unique, a child of God. As Quakers we affirm the equality of all. Therefore, we have been led to understand that all kinds of love are of equal worth in the Light.

We are committed to equality, justice, peace, simplicity and truth throughout the world.

As African Quakers we are deeply troubled by the extended criminalisation of homosexuality represented by Uganda’s Anti Homosexuality Act, 2014. We see that this extension of already existing criminalisation continues and exacerbates the denial of human rights to homosexuals, those accused of homosexuality, and those associated with or supporting homosexuals.

The increase of intolerance on our continent towards people because of their sexual orientation is a matter of deep concern, as is the promotion of intolerance for political ends.

We give our full support to the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law in Uganda in their efforts to overturn this law.    

We are asking that the Africa Section of the Friends World Committee on Consultation (FWCC) considers this matter and deliberates on the best way to give a strong response based on shared Quaker testimonies on this matter. We have also written to the World Office of FWCC about this important concern.

We call on Friends worldwide to work together towards the elimination of all hatred and prejudice, including that being experienced today by people because of their sexual orientation.

Quakers were instrumental with others in ending the African slave trade in the 19th Century. We took that unpopular stand out of the basic recognition that there is that of God in every person. As a community we are convinced that humanity will look back on its treatment of homosexuals in the same way as it looks back today on its treatment of slaves: with horror at our collective cruelty. The recognition of the rights and equality of homosexuals is a crucial test for our common humanity; we dare not fail.

For more information, please contact:

Nokuthula Mbete – nokuthula@qpc.org.za
Thomas Ndayiragije – tndayiragije@iglhrc.org