Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba Responds to Archbishop of Canterbury on Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023


The Most Rev Dr Stephen Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu, Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, released the following statement in response to the public letter to him from the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Archbishop Justin Welby, the Primate of All England, has every right to form his opinions about matters around the world that he knows little about firsthand, and that is what he has done in his recent statement about the Church of Uganda’s widely held support for the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023. Our support has been made very clear by our earlier statement, so it does not require repeating.

He and many other Western leaders seem to think that the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 criminalizes homosexuality. It does not. Homosexuality was already criminalized; it simply reaffirms what was already in the colonial-era penal code, including a maximum sentence of the death penalty for aggravated homosexuality (which the Church of Uganda opposed).

Even if the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 was not signed into law, homosexuality would remain criminalized in Uganda, as it is in more than one-third of the world’s countries. Even if the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 is overturned by the Supreme Court, homosexuality will remain criminalized in Uganda. What is new is specifically outlawing the promotion of homosexuality and same-sex relationships as a moral alternative to God’s natural design for marriage between one man and one woman.

We wonder if Archbishop Justin Welby has written to encourage the Anglican Bishop of Cyprus and the Gulf to publicly advocate for decriminalizing homosexuality in the Arabian Peninsula and the Middle East? Why are African countries like Ghana and Uganda singled out for such virtue signaling?

Sadly, as we stated – together with leaders of 85% of the Anglican Communion – in the Kigali Commitment of Gafcon IV in April 2023, we “can no longer recognise the Archbishop of Canterbury as an Instrument of Communion, the ‘first among equals’ of the Primates. The Church of England has chosen to impair her relationship with the orthodox provinces in the Communion.” We do pray for him and other leaders in the Church of England to repent.

The Most Rev. Dr. Stephen Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu