For statements deemed pro-gay
By Melanie Nathan, February 16, 2013.
Bishop Zac Niringiye, the retired assistant Bishop of Kampala, known as the leader of the controversial “Black Monday” Movement, was giving presentation to students at Makerere University, Kampala, when a a group of angry anti-gay Christian students turned rowdy and threatened to expel him from the premises following remarks that were deemed pro-gay.
Niringiye was a guest of the Makerere University Human Rights Center and presented a paper on the “Convergences and Divergences between religion and Human rights. Apparently one of the students questioned why the “man of God” claimed that gays should have rights when the Bible supposedly teaches otherwise, according to the student.
The students were apparently angered when the Bishop noted that the “Bible contained Decrees by God which were in themselves atrocious to human dignity and thus needed to be read and interpreted carefully.
The Bishop who is an outspoken critic of President Museveni has noted: “”Many friends of mine have constantly asked me whether my life is safe, going by my sharp criticism of President Museveni, but I want to assure you that my life is safe and that I don’t fear Museveni at all.” -Bishop Zac”
Currently Uganda is contemplating passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which includes the death penalty and harsh prison penalties for gays and so called promoters of homosexuality. This incident provides another reason why the Bill, otherwise known as The Kill the Gays Bill, should not pass. How would people be able to exercise their right to free speech in Uganda if religious zealots do not even allow for a debate with members of their own religion. This would be a case, if the law was in place, where in effect Bishop Zac could have been accused of “promoting” homosexuality. If the Bill passes, the subject and all discussion will become a complete taboo and people will be too afraid to have the important discussion.
I have contacted the Bishop for comment on the event and will update when I receive a response.
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