~ published on May 29, 2023 on The United Church of Canada website
The United Church of Canada joins with other civil society organizations in Canada to denounce the anti-LGBTQIA+ bill that passed recently in Uganda. The time to support LGBTQIA+ allies and activists in Uganda is now.
Gender and sexuality are gifts of God. The United Church of Canada opposes discrimination against anyone, for any reason, that results in someone’s worth being devalued. The work of justice is about how we treat people in the world, so we work to end all forms of discrimination.
We urge the Canadian government to continue sharing its concern about the bill to President Museveni.
Further, Canada should appoint a Special Envoy for LGBTQIA+ human rights to coordinate international efforts with other countries—including Argentina, France, and the United States—that have also taken a position.
We expect that there will be refugees fleeing Uganda because of this bill. We urge Canada to improve pathways for LGBTQIA+ activists and community members who may need to flee their countries for safety.
Currently, only about 0.1 percent of Canadian international assistance goes toward supporting LGBTQIA+ human rights. This amount should increase; more Canadian international assistance and humanitarian aid should be going to organizations committed to inclusion and supporting LGBTQIA+ human rights.
We support the Stephen Lewis Foundation, Rainbow Railroad, Equitas, The Equality Fund, and African Centre for Refugees, all members of Dignity Network Canada, as they work with partners in Uganda to amplify the messages from the community.
And we call on the Canadian government to urgently implement these calls for action.