New Archbishop makes attacking same-sex marriage his first act

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The new head of the Anglican Church in Uganda, Stephen Kazimba Mugalu, has spoken out against same-sex couples at his enthronement.

The head of the Church of England and worldwide Anglican Christianity, Justin Welby, was there to support Kazimba as he was formally enthroned.

And as the Archbishop of Uganda and Bishop of Kampala, Kazimba now has widespread influence. Around a third of the east African country’s citizens are members of the Church of Uganda. And the church is particularly influential in Uganda’s politics.

Kazimba vowed the church will continue to insist marriage is between a man and woman and for procreation.

He added they would not be ‘pressured’ into accepting same-sex couples:

‘The trend in the Western world and some Anglican churches in those contexts are being pressured into doing this, including our mother Church of England.

‘But for us in Uganda, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’

Kazimba added that the Church of Uganda faces pressures around polygamy, early marriages and domestic violence.

‘There is even incest and bestiality. These are not god’s ways. I invite people who are cohabiting to put their marriage right before god by making marriage vows and putting on wedding rings.’

And setting out a firm conservative stance, he vowed never to accept or support abortion.

‘We will continue to say no to same-sex marriage until Jesus comes back’

It comes after his predecessor Archbishop Stanley Ntagali also spoke out against same-sex couples last week.

As he prepared to leave office, Ntagali said:

‘We cannot follow the teaching of the liberals of the West, which have told us the Bible is the book of the past and that men can marry men, and women can marry women. We are saying no to that liberal teaching.

‘We have said no to same-sex marriage and we shall continue to say that until Jesus comes back.’

Moreover, Kazimba is merely reflecting Welby’s own stance against LGBT+ equality.

Like Kazimba, Welby has condemned same-sex marriages. And like Kazimba, doing so was his first act when he became head of the Anglican Church in 2013.

And this year, he and fellow Church of England bishops outraged their fellow clergy and followers by saying only straight heterosexuals were allowed to have sex.

The rebellion was so big that Welby had to admit the statement had caused ‘hurt’. But he still stopped short of changing his mind.

Welby joined a crowd of supporters to bless Kazimba at his enthronement ceremony on Monday. The colorful ceremony took place at Namirembe Cathedral in Kampala, the Ugandan capital.

Kazimba is ‘sowing the seeds of hatred’

Speaking to GSN, Ugandan LGBT+ campaigner Edwin Sesange warned Kazimba’s views would spread.

He said: ‘In Uganda, when people in authority talk, some people think that is what the law says or take it as gospel truth. People in Uganda look at them as fountains of knowledge. So whatever he says goes far beyond the church.’

For that reason, LGBT+ Ugandans think they have to fight back.

Hamimah Minah Namuddu, a lesbian from Uganda, said: ‘[Kazimba] should focus on spreading and respecting love among people than sowing the seeds of hatred, discrimination and persecution among Ugandans.’

And Godfrey Kawalya a gay man from Uganda, appealed to the new archbishop of Uganda to follow in the LGBT+ supportive footsteps of the globally respected Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa:

‘Religion in Africa should reflect the traditional understanding of love commonly known as Ubuntu. The anti-LGBTI preachings will lead to many people to leave the church. Therefore the archbishop should embark on reaching out to all communities of people, including gays.’

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Author: Tris Reid-Smith