A Letter to the Cape Times 17 MAy 2010—Faith and homophobia

Please note the signatories who are leading members of the Anglican Church in Southern Africa. They are both retired in the case of Cannon Rowan Smith only 30 April 2010. Should retired respected leaders be allowed to seek to influence the current situation as blatantly as this?  I suppose we should be grateful that AT LAST it is blatant, one wonders for how long they were working quietly even while in leadership offices.  Webmaster.

WE, THE undersigned, affirm the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia’s campaign opposing extremist religious voices and promoting moderate and progressive positions regarding LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) rights.

Our focus on religion within this context is because we know the role that religious fundamentalism and patriarchy are playing in the upsurge of homophobic hate which we’ve seen in recent months in our continent:

In Uganda, attempts to revive colonial laws would make homosexuality punishable by death.

Hate attacks on LGBTI persons have, among other places, also been recorded in Malawi and Kenya.

In Zimbabwe, Morgan Tsvangirai has agreed with Robert Mugabe to exclude progress regarding LGBTI rights from Zimbabwe’s constitutional reforms.

In our own country, a return to patriarchal cultural traditions by some leaders does not hold promise for a more tolerant and respectful future regarding these issues.

We call on all South Africans to reaffirm their commitment to the hardwon freedoms and values of our constitution, so admired around the world. All citizens, whatever their gender, orientation or cultural roots, share a common responsibility to continue to engage in the struggle for human dignity, freedom and equality for all.

We also strongly affirm the more moderate and progressive positions within our Christian faith on this subject. We believe that the Holy Spirit is leading the church to a greater understanding about issues of human sexuality and helping us to help our members to integrate their sexuality and faith.

We believe that the Spirit is growing within us a deeper understanding of God’s love and grace for all people, irrespective of their sexual orientation…

Dr Allan Boesak                         Rev Laurie Gaum

MS Elna Boesak                          Rev Judith Kotze

Rev Marius Brand                       Rev Pieter Oberholzer

Rev Ecclesia de Lange                Bishop David Russel

Cannon Rowan Smith                 Marlow Valentine

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.