Out Abroad: Activists Try to Overturn Anti-gay Law; Blessings for Same-sex Couples Divide Church of England

Clare Byarugaba via aspenglobalinnovators.org.

Activists in Uganda attempt to overturn an anti-gay law, Jordan authorities target activists, and blessings for same-sex couples show a divide in the Church of England.

Activists In Uganda Try To Overturn Anti-Gay Law

Civil society groups in Uganda are attempting to overturn, what some call, the world’s harshest LGBTQ law.

According to The Guardian, activists will appear in court to finalize their appeal before the date is set for a full hearing.

“We are challenging the anti-homosexuality law because it does not pass any constitutional litmus test, and we shall win, because such an abhorrent law whose only aim is to spread hate and institutionalized discrimination and exclusion does not belong on Uganda’s law books…,” Clare Byarugaba, an LGBTQ+ advocate from Chapter Four, a Ugandan civil liberties organization, told The Guardian.

The law, passed in March of this year, imposes the death sentence and life imprisonment for certain homosexual acts.

Jordan Authorities Target LGBTQ Activists

OutSFL file photo.

LGBTQ activists in Jordan are reporting that they have been regularly intimidated by Jordan’s General Intelligence Department (GID) and its Public Security Directorate.

According to Pink News, the individuals targeted were threatened with violence, arrest, and prosecution.

“Jordanian authorities have launched a coordinated attack against LGBT rights activists, aimed at eradicating any discussion around gender and sexuality from the public and private spheres,” HRW’s LGBTQ program senior researcher Rasha Younes said in an interview with Pink News.

Similar accusations were reported by The Guardian in August.

While same-sex activity is not illegal in Jordan, the LGBTQ+ rights index site, Equaldex, still considers it a dangerous country to be queer.

Blessings For Same-Sex Couples Show Divide in Church


Photo by Carsten Vollrath, via Pexels.

The Church of England announced that clergy could voluntarily use special prayers of love and faith for same-sex couples.

“It’s been a long journey to get where we are,” said Rev Andrew Dotchin, the parish priest at St John’s, in an interview with The Guardian.

“Hopefully, the prayers of love and faith will encourage those who have doubts to ask: ‘What was the worry all about? Why did we ever think this should be stopped?’” said Dotchin.

However, not all bishops are on board, as they believe this newfound acceptance deviates from the teachings of the church.

“As your bishop, I simply cannot advise you to use prayers that indicate a departure from the clear teaching of the C of E,” said Paul Williams, the bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, to his clergy in his diocese.

Progressive Christians believe this is just the first step and will continue to demand full equality.

According to the Guardian, next year, the Church will offer “experimental” standalone services of blessings for same-sex couples that will look and feel very similar to a church wedding.


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