The remarks about Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Law made by Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana at a recent conference on human rights organized by the Vatican are a welcome intervention in a debate that has become dangerously overheated.
At its most basic level, the recent legislation is a violation of the sovereign principle that healthcare is a human right. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote from jail in 1963 that "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
As barriers to legal equality seem to be falling like dominoes in the United States, it's easy for LGBT Americans and their allies to feel a sense of giddiness. But even as the momentum in the U.S. seems to be accelerating in the right direction, a disturbing countertrend has emerged.
Simon Lokodo's been active in trying to close down LGBT organizations but is most famous for his flamboyantly absurd homophobic statements, having gone on record to say that the rape of under-age girls by men is the 'natural' way and more acceptable than homosexuality.
As even many Republicans understand, the U.S. Constitution does not recognize a right to discriminate or bully in the guise of religion. And Scott Lively's days of roaming the globe to whip up anti-gay hate are numbered, too.
As a community -- whether that means LGBT or of a particular city/town -- we can stand up and make our voices heard. Whether you live in Denver or Dublin, London or Newark, we can stand in solidarity with our Ugandan brethren.
Lest anyone suggest discrimination in the United States is benign in comparison to what has unfolded in Uganda, we should take a closer look at the pain and suffering -- and yes, the hatred -- laws like these fuel.
While we're hopefully beating back this law in Arizona, with anti-gay forces claiming it's about religious freedom and not about discrimination, keep in mind that their goal is to see homosexuality criminalized and punished around the world.
It's sometimes hard to believe that the year is 2014. For all of our advances, tech developments, innovations, achievements and progress, we are watching elected officials enact laws and propose others that are simply unbelievable.
What I found when I got to Kampala was a beautiful city and wonderful, loving people. I also found a community living in fear and not able to move around for rational fear of being arrested, attacked or worse.