Global Equality –how do we get there? Forum, Aug 21st

A forum with Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, Brent Sammon and Rev. Canon Albert Ogle, Sunday August 21st at 9am.

Recently returned from Uganda, where he helped Bishop Christopher establish an HIV outreach program to “criminalized” LGBT people (through a $145,000 grant from the Elton John AIDS Foundation) Albert Ogle will talk about why it is important to decriminalize homosexuality globally. One immediate context makes this goal very clear-HIV. He will also be joined by Brent Sammons who just returned from the Middle East.

“One of the things I feared most about the work that was not done at the United Nations in June, when the family of nations agreed on a five year global AIDS plan, was what happened two weeks ago in West Ghana. A government minister called for the immediate arrest of homosexuals when a simple United States Agency for International Development workshop revealed preliminary findings there may be up to 8,000 people – Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) in the region. All hell broke loose as a local ecumenical council also called for their arrest”, reported Ogle.

Homosexuality is illegal in Ghana as in 75 other countries. Ghana is part of the British Commonwealth as does 45 of these former British colonies which are heavily influenced by Anglicanism. Lesbianism was never outlawed, allegedly because Queen Victoria could not believe women could be so sexually deviant. So colonial laws, used to oppress the natives are now being revamped in places like Malawi, where lesbianism was recently criminalized and Uganda is another more public example of recent institutionalized homophobia.

The High Level Meeting on global HIV the UN failed to come clean on the issue of criminalizing homosexual relationships and so one of the most important “At Risk” communities –millions of people mainly in Africa (35 countries where homosexuality is illegal) are deemed criminals. So how do you provide services to “criminals” who sign up for HIV programs while their names and addresses could be seized by politicians seeking reflection?

Bishop and Mrs. Mary Senyonjo will be in San Diego August 19th-27th 2011

Bishop Christopher has just started a new program that could potentially land him and his staff in jail. Until homosexuality is decriminalized, it is going to be very difficult to provide universal HIV prevention and there will be a huge hole in the world AIDS plan through which the virus will get to more of us.

What is the role of the Anglican Communion in a call for Global Equality? What can Americans do to end this appalling international situation?

The bishop will preach at the 8 a.m. and 10.30 a.m. services.

A party at Albert Ogle’s home is scheduled for 12 noon, so please RSVP to aogle@cox.net

More information at the St Paul’s Foundation website.

The Rev Canon Albert Ogle

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