One of the world's most prominent evangelical leaders has come out against the controversial anti-gay bill in Uganda. Joyce Meyer calls it "offensive and dangerous."
The legislation currently being debated in the African nation would sentence many gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people to death or send them to prison. Even supporters of gay rights could spend time behind bars.
Meyer has ministry offices all over the world, including Uganda, and she's been pressured to speak out against the plan. Change.org writes:
Joyce Meyer, despite her work in Uganda, had been silent on this piece of legislation, officially known as the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. That is, she was silent, up until now, thanks to the emails of hundreds of Change.org members who pressured her to condemn the legislation... And condemn it Joyce Meyer did.
Meyer sent out an email Monday. Here's what she wrote:
It is increasingly evident that the proposed "Anti-Homosexuality Bill" introduced in the Ugandan parliament is a profoundly offensive, dangerous and disturbing attack on the very foundation of individual liberties and human rights afforded not only to the good citizens of Uganda, but on the at-large global community.
If enacted, this hostile legislation will also further, and adversely, serve as a major setback in the global health efforts to combat Uganda's AIDS epidemic and reduce the record-high infection rates among the country's HIV population, an already at-risk community that could be further ostracized, threatened, and targeted as potential criminals.
Our missions and ministry message has always been to teach that the Word of God is about helping people - all people - learn that God loves them and has a purpose for their lives, not put guilt or condemnation on them.
As a global society, we do not have to agree, endorse or condone the lifestyle choices of others. However, history has taught us that we equally cannot and should not excuse those who would hide behind religion or misuse God's word to justify bigotry and persecution.
With this statement, our motivation and intent is not to interfere with Uganda's political agenda or internal affairs. As believers, however, we have a moral and ethical duty that compels us to speak out against injustice wherever it may be in the world.