Anglican leader criticizes overturning of anti-gay bill in Uganda

Uganda’s top Anglican leader criticized the constitutional court for striking down the country’s controversial anti-gay law, saying that the law is still needed to protect children and families from Western-imported homosexuality. A five-judge panel recently declared the Anti-Homosexuality Act null and void since it was passed by parliament without the required quorum, which is the technicality considered, but could be revived in a different form.

The law punishes homosexual acts with life imprisonment. President Yoweri Museveni signed the measure back in February, bringing criticism from Western nations and massive cuts in foreign aid, which affects the budget of the government. Anglican Archbishop Stanley Ntagali called the decision a disappointment for the Church of Uganda, religious leaders, and other Ugandans who support the law.

“The ‘court of public opinion’ has clearly indicated its support for the Act, and we urge Parliament to consider voting again on the Bill with the proper quorum in place,” Ntagali said. He sides with many leaders, who say that homosexuality is against their culture and God’s will.

“I appeal to all God-fearing people and all Ugandans to remain committed to the support against homosexuality,” Ntagali said. His church cut ties with the Episcopal Church, from which it came from, after the election of an openly gay bishop back in 2003. Gays and lesbians,however, celebrated the verdict as their victory and a sign of freedom. Many analysts view it as a start of a long battle for gay rights in Uganda which could rage for many years. The law is still under review and will be decided at an undetermined time.

“I am no longer criminal,” Kasha Jacqueline tweeted. “We have made history for generations to come.”