LOS ANGELES, Feb. 24, 2010 — The Rev. Rizi Nasele Timane' and the Gospel Truth Music Ministry (http://www.rizigospel.com) are voicing their support for Uganda's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and their distress at the new perils that the community faces under the country's proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
Homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda, but the proposed legislation would create a new offense of "aggravated homosexuality," punishable by death. An extraterritorial clause would require that even Ugandans living in other countries be extradited to face prosecution for offenses listed within the bill. The bill also proposes jail sentences for failure to report a homosexual act and for "promoting homosexuality," which could cover the activities of human rights groups, including organizations working on HIV and AIDS prevention.
Christianity is the most widespread religion in Uganda. In an open letter addressed to President Obama, Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Timane' points out the disparity between the proposed legislation and God's law. She draws attention to the command in Micah 6:8 "to do justice, and to love kindness" as well as Mark 12:28-31 where "Jesus spells out the two commandments that encompass every other commandment," the second of which is "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." "The proposed anti-homosexuality bill is in direct violation," Timane' states.
A lesbian reverend from Nigeria, West Africa, Timane' was one of the first people to identify as openly gay in Africa and knows firsthand the life-threatening effects of homophobia. Her letter continues, "The Ugandan anti-homosexuality bill is anti-human, anti-Christian and in violation of the fundamental rights that ALL people living in our world today are entitled to. It is in essence, government-legislated genocide." Timane' calls on all Christians to oppose the proposed law. She also writes, "I ask Uganda's president (Yoweri Museveni) and all Ugandan lawmakers, to please engage in dialogue with the rest of the world on the importance of protecting the rights of minorities."
On February 21, 2010, the ministry took spiritual action by conducting a prayer vigil at the Unity Fellowship of Christ church in Riverside, Calif., praying against the passage of the bill. A record of the vigil is posted in the video section of the Gospel Truth Music Ministry Web site.
In addition, the ministry will be offering monthly video devotionals at its Web site, starting Sunday, March 7, 2010. The devotionals will be video responses to the most often asked questions the ministry receives and occasional sermons on God's inclusive love for all people. "Gospel Truth Music Ministry is available to LGBT individuals 24 hours a day worldwide, including those suffering in Uganda," said Timane'. "We are a resource for anyone in need of encouragement or struggling to reconcile their sexuality with their spiritual faith."
The full text of the open letter is available at http://www.rizigospel.com.
Gospel Truth Music Ministry
25876 The Old Road, Suite 247
Newhall, CA 91381
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