When Uganda passed its Anti-Homosexuality Act back in December 2013, several religious leaders pushed hard for the Ugandan President to assent to the Bill, which came to be known as The Kill the Gays Bill. Two such religious leaders include a certain married couple, Dr. Joseph Serwadda and Pastor Freda Serwadda, from the Victory Christian Centre. Now the couple will be preaching in the United Kingdom and LGBTI activists are angry that they have not been banned from entering the United Kingdom.
As can be seen from the poster below, on March 26, at 6 pm until midnight, the Serwaddas will be participating at a rally in East London, at the Rugby Football Club, 71 Holland Road, London E15 3BP in the United Kingdom.
Here is a direct quote from a Ugandan newspaper, at a time when President Yoweri Museveni was wavering on signing the Anti-Gay Bill, because he realized that the Parliament did not have a quorum when passing the legislation:
“Mr Museveni’s views on a piece of legislation that has rattled Western donors were targeting comments made by the head of one of the Pentecostal Churches associations in Uganda, Pastor Joseph Serwadda, calling on the President to sign the Bill against Homosexuality. Pastor Sserwadda told Mr Museveni that he has the backing of the religious leaders and should, therefore, go ahead and assent to the Anti-Pornography Bill and the Anti-Homosexuality Bill as they were passed by Parliament.”
Ugandan LGBTI refugees and asylum seekers, now living in exile in the United Kingdom, after suffering direct persecution as a result of the anti-gay rhetoric expounded by the likes of Joseph Serwadda, are incensed that the preacher, who in essence had called for death to gays, will be allowed to enter the United Kingdom.
Abbey Kiwanuka, a well known activist and Executive Director of the Out and Proud Diamond Group, in the United Kingdom, is one such exilee, and is angered by the visit of the preachers:
It is absurd to see the United Kingdom allowing hate preachers such as Pastor Sserwanda and his wife, to enter the UK to preach. Such preachers should be put on a banned list by the UK government. They banned Yunis Al Astal, a Preacher and Hamas MP who is known for his inflammatory anti-Semitic remarks, Florida pastor Terry Jones, who gained notoriety for his attempts to organize a Quran-burning protest and other hate preachers who have been banned in the past. These two hateful people should be on that list too.
Pastor Serwadda’s preaching and his support for the criminalization of homosexuality in Uganda, through a bill that called for our death, led to a lot of LGBT people having to flee their home country. We are deeply impacted and offended that he now gets to come to the UK to spit the same venom against us.
Most of us did not want to leave our homes and our lives and its because of him and others like him that we have suffered and been displaced. I hope that the UK revokes their visas and stops them from preaching their hate in the UK.
It is so hard to fathom that genuine Christians and anyone who preaches the gospel would be involved in speech and laws which have called for the death of fellow humans, based on their sexuality. Through their support and pushing of the Bill, they in effect participated in the persecution.
These preachers blame homosexuality on western values. They reject the idea of separation of church and state and try to impose their religious beliefs and biblical interpretations on Ugandan civil law. They deny that there are different forms of human sexuality based on their fallacious assertions that such is only ‘a vile western value.’ Yet they will be quick to come to the United Kingdom where LGBT people have freedom to marry. Are they not hypocrites?
As it turned out Museveni did sign the Bill and it became law in February 2014. However later that year the Courts invalidated the law because Parliament passed it without the requisite quorum. It was never tested on its merits in the Courts and could be brought back as law at anytime in the future.
We did not have time to contact the UK Home Office to see if they were aware of Serwadda’s involvement in pushing Museveni to sign the Anti-Homosexuality Act.
Here is the couple’s website. HERE
If you plan to contact them to tell them they are not welcome, please do so without the type of hate they have displayed. Do so politely and be sure to maintain the integrity of the LGBTI community.