The Ugandan authorities deny that David’s murder was connected to his sexuality – if this is true then why call to speak out about David?
The account by the Ugandan authorities has been called into question by a number of organisations – Human Rights Watch and Amnesty Internationally are still calling for a thorough and impartial investigation into David’s murder. However, regardless of the exact reasons why David was killed it is undisputed that David lived with on-going threats, harassment and fear of violence due to his sexual identity. Condemning this makes a statement that no individual deserves to be threatened, harassed or live in fear of violence on the basis of their sexual orientation.
Why focus on the UK when David worked primarily in Uganda?
John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, has strong links with the Ugandan faith community. Due to the Archbishop of York’s high position within the Anglican Church his speaking out for David – and condemnation of threats, harassment and violence towards anyone based on their sexual orientation – would harbour significant influence.
There are many people who haven’t spoken out about David – why focus on the Archbishop of York?
Asking the Archbishop of York to speak out is in recognition that a statement by John Sentamu would have particular influence and significance. There are three principle reasons for this:
- First, the prominent position of the Archbishop within the Anglican community.
- Second, John Sentamu’s impressive record of speaking out in support of human rights causes.
- Third, the links between York (UK) and Kampala (Uganda) – the Archbishop is from Uganda and David spent a significant amount of time living and working in York.
Doesn’t the campaign place too much emphasis on speech when really it’s action that matters?
Speech is an important form of action. Speaking – and in particular promoting dialogue – has an important role to play in challenging the attitudes, ideas and beliefs that serve to justify violence.
Aren’t you forgetting peoples’ right to different opinions and to practice their religion freely?
Everyone has the right to freely practice their religion. This right is enshrined in international law (e.g. article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights). However, international law recognises that this right should be limited if it restricts the ability of others to enjoy their own rights. Therefore there is no right to religious practice that condones threats, harassment or violence towards individuals due to their actual, or perceived, sexual orientation.