Archbishop of Canterbury decries Ugandan church support for anti-gay law

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby delivers a speech at an interreligious meeting in Rome on October 6, 2021. [AP photo]

The Archbishop of Canterbury has written to Ugandan Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba to express his "grief and dismay" at the Church of Uganda’s support of the African country’s anti-LGBT law.

"Within the Anglican Communion we continue to disagree over matters of sexuality, but in our commitment to God-given human dignity we must be united," Justin Welby said in a statement Friday.

The Ugandan law, approved by President Yoweri Museveni, is severe. Under the law, gay sex is punishable by life in prison. "Aggravated homosexuality," which includes transmitting HIV, is punishable by death.

Kaziimba has said he welcomes the new law, saying that homosexuality was being pushed on Ugandans by "foreign actors."

"This is not about imposing Western values on our Ugandan Anglican sisters and brothers," Welby said in his statement. "It is about reminding them of the commitments we have made as Anglicans to treat every person with the care and respect they deserve as children of God."