The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is co-hosting the American Prayer Hour to protest the National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 4. It is among other American Prayer Hour events occurring nationwide.
David Bahati, sponsor of Uganda’s "Anti-Homosexuality Bill" — which would make homosexuality punishable by life imprisonment or even death — is expected to attend the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., as is President Obama. The breakfast is sponsored by "The Family," an international Christian fundamentalist organization whose anti-LGBT work in Uganda is believed to have influenced the drafting of the draconian Ugandan legislation.
The Task Force-hosted "American Prayer Hour at Creating Change: Protest ‘The Family’ and the Ugandan LGBT Death Penalty Bill," will call upon all people to affirm inclusive values and celebrate diversity. It will be held Feb. 4 at the Task Force’s National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change, which will be under way in Dallas, Texas. Conference-goers will gather at 7 a.m. to protest the National Prayer Breakfast and the Ugandan measure. The Rev. Dr. Stephen Sprinkle of Brite Divinity School will moderate, and a Ugandan man seeking asylum in the U.S. will tell his personal story. The event will be held in the Dallas Ballroom A1 at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel.
Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey recently issued a strong statement calling for the U.S. to press for the full withdrawal of the Ugandan legislation:
"It is imperative that the Obama administration and Congress push Uganda to withdraw this bill in its entirety. Simply removing the death penalty doesn't somehow make this a humane bill. Whether it be the state-sponsored murder of LGBT Ugandans or their life imprisonment for simply being who they are is barbaric and unacceptable. Our political leaders must send the unified and unequivocal message that this measure, in full, needs to go."
Task Force Faith Work Director Rev. Rebecca Voelkel adds:
"Especially at this moment in our nation’s history, we must turn away from the hate-mongering of our recent past and root ourselves in the values of inclusion and diversity that make this country strong. To do so means that we must speak out and act against such draconian measures as this Ugandan bill, which has such clear ties to bad religion."
U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) is set to chair a hearing this week on the Uganda bill, under the auspices of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.
The American Prayer Hour events are co-sponsored by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Human Rights Campaign, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, National Black Justice Coalition, Metropolitan Community Church, Faith in America, Bishop Gene Robinson and Truth Wins Out.