The Rt. Rev. Christopher Ssenyonjo,
Former Bishop, West Buganda Diocese,
Church of Uganda (Anglican)
Bishop Christopher speaks about his ministry with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Ugandans. Bishop Christopher has paid a very high price for his willingness to affirm the humanity, faith and ministry of LGBT Christians in Africa. Because he would not "repent" of his belief that LGBT persons are children of God, he was ex-communicated by the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda. Few straight allies in Uganda have the courage of Bishop Christopher.
Ms. Anne Baraza,
Educator and Activist, Kenya
What do you hope will happen in Kenya as a result of the work you are doing?
I think with God’s help Kenyans will come to realize that gays and lesbians didn’t choose to be who they are, it is not by choice, it is God who made them and actually there is nothing wrong with it. It’s high time the Kenyans and especially the Kenyan church accepted these people in the church, accepted them to be part and parcel of society. Because what we have at the moment is rejection. These people are rejected by the church. The moment the church realizes you are gay, or you are a lesbian they move away from you, they disassociate themselves from you and they feel you are demonic, you are attacked by demons and they should remove that spirit from you because you are not worthy to be a member of society. So the Kenyan society should be educated more and more about sexual orientation because actually they are homophobic. When they hear of the lesbians and gays they feel they are not human beings.
What would you say to the Anglican bishops?
I would say that they should give gays and lesbians room. They should listen to them. What they are doing is just telling them this is wrong, this is wrong, but they are not giving these people room to explain their feelings, to explain their thought, to explain why they are who they are. There is a lot of dictatorship from the Anglican bishop, so it’s high time the Anglican Church also listened to these people.
Let them give them a hearing, let them tell them what they have, let them compare notes and I’m sure they will come to a compromise or they will actually realize that these people are human beings, they are in society, they need also love, they need to be respected and they also need to share what they have with any other person. And they are not abnormal. They say they are abnormal. To me they are not abnormal. They are normal.
Rev. John Baraza Makokha,
United Methodist Pastor, Kenya
In the African context and Kenya in particular, the family is very, very important in terms of provisions like youth still going to school; they feel once they are detached from the family they will no longer be supported in terms of the school fees, in terms of inheritance of land, because the land issue in Africa is very, very sensitive. And they feel that even the love from the family will be disconnected and they are likely to be taken as outcasts. And because of that fear there are quite a number who are hiding. They have not come out in the open to say that indeed they are gays and lesbians.
Rev. Michael Kimindu,
Anglican Priest, Kenya
It is very important that we provide a situation where our young people can ask questions about their human sexuality especially when they find that they are attracted to the same sex. They notice that they are different from other young people and when they listen to what society is saying they find there is nothing but condemnation and yet they wonder ‘how did other people become heterosexual and we became homosexuals?’ They want to find out whether it is something they got from their parents, if it is something wrong in the way their chemistry is constructed. And so when we keep so quiet and even the only thing we can say is condemnation, we are losing these young people. And in fact today in Kenya we are beginning to hear of young people committing suicide in schools and the best I can say is that this a result of depression.
Mr. Fabian Stanley Muiga and
Mr. Peter Wanyama (partners), Kenya
Would you like to have your union blessed by the church?
Peter -Yes that is our dream-- our greatest dream and we believe that one day by the grace of God it’s going to happen; we are working towards achieving that goal by being involved in this work that God has directed us toward-- fighting the injustices and also insuring we try to get the church closer to us so that at least it may come to pass that they will understand what God has purposed us for in this world. We are not any different human beings, or we are not lesser human beings than any other so we believe that God has called us into this ministry and God has blessed us --- God has already blessed us and united us. It’s only that we are waiting for the legal aspect of the world to come.