Faith Leaders and Civil Rights Advocates Release Statement on Human Rights In Uganda

Dr. Amos C. Brown
Dr. Amos C. Brown

As faith leaders and civil rights advocates representing a large segment of faith communities in America we espouse the central moral position that every human being is a child of God and deserving of respect, love, and affirmation.

It is because of this profound and abiding belief that we raise our outcry in our position to the recent anti-gay, lesbian and transgender law that was enacted by the Ugandan Parliament and signed into law by President Yowery Kaguta Museveni.

This measure criminalizes human beings for no reason than that they are different and disliked by persons who claim to be Christian and have espoused notions of African spirituality. As American faith leaders we call upon all government officials, fair minded and sensible persons to support President Barack Obama’s recent appeals to the president of Uganda to rethink this position that egregiously violates human rights.

We also urge the entire international community to use every non-violent and diplomatic means to motivate the Ugandan government and the entire citizenry to have the moral courage to embrace the universal dictum found in all world religions…“to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

As stated by the ADL, the Ugandan legislation is not an exception, but instead the evolution of an alarming trend in other parts of the world and the United States. It should cause us concern that more than 2/3rds of African countries currently have laws criminalizing same sex acts and even nations that do not have similar legislation encourage human rights violations by failing in their duty to protect their citizens’ rights to security and creating a culture of impunity.

We strongly believe that this issue before us should be treated with a great sense of urgency. Moreover, we should remember the lessons of history which have taught us so well, that injustice anywhere comes to affect all of us everywhere. The words of Martin Niemöller that were uttered in the 1930’s should remind us with a great sense of urgency to act:

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Therefore, in the name of the sages, prophets, and all people of good will let us speak out before it is too late and we will all perish from foolish ways that demean and destroy the worth and dignity of all people.


Dr. Amos C. Brown, Chairman, Civil & Human Rights Commission, National Baptist Conv., USA, Inc.

Dr. Julius Scruggs, President, National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.

Dr. Carroll Baltimore, President, Progressive National Baptist Convention

Dr. Stephen Thurston, President, National Baptist Convention of America

Dr. Jerry Young, Vice-President at Large, National Baptist Convention

Dr. Calvin McKinney, Secretary, National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.

Dr. Joseph Lowery, President, Emeritus, Southern Christian Leadership Conference

Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, President, Interfaith Alliance

Dr. Frederick Haynes, Pastor, Friendship West Baptist Church, Dallas, TX

Rev. Anthony Trufant, Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church, Brooklyn, NY

Dr. Kenneth Clarke, Director, Cornell University, Spiritual Affairs

Dean Lawrence Carter, Morehouse College, King International Chapel

Dr. Robert Franklin, President Emeritus, Morehouse College

Dr. Claybon Lea, Pastor, Mount Calvary Church, Suisun City, CA

Ms. Diana Jones-Wilson, Exec. Director, Faith Partnership

Dr. Charles Booth, Pastor, Olivet Baptist Church, Columbus, Ohio

Dr. Otis Moss, Jr., Pastor (Emeritus) Mt. Olivet Baptist Church

Dr. Andrew Young, Former US Ambassador

Dr. Julius Hope, Director, Religious Affairs, NAACP

Dr. William Barber, President, NAACP, North Carolina

Dr. Raphael Warnock, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, GA

Dr. Ivan Carruthers, Exec. Director, Samuel De Witt Proctor Conference

Dr. Calvin Butts, Abyssinian Church, New York, NY

Dr. James Perkins, Christ Baptist Church, Detroit, MI

Dr. Gary Simpson, Concord Church, Brooklyn, NY

Dr. David E. Goatley, Exec. Secretary/Treasurer, Lott Carey Foreign Mission

Dr. Nelson Rivers, Director, Stakeholders, NAACP, South Carolina

Rev. Theresa Dear, Dupage, NAACP National Board, IL

Bill Lucy, Labor and Union Organizer

Reverend Frederick A. Davie, Executive Vice-President, Union Theological Seminary

Rev. Dr. Yvonne Delk, Director of the Center for African American Theological Studies

Bishop C. Garnett Henning, African Methodist Episcopal Church, elected in 1992 in Orlando, Florida

Donald L. Cash, Sr., UFCW Minority Coalition

Dr. Delman Coates, Ph.D., Senior Pastor, Mt. Ennon Baptist Church (Clinton, MD)

Dr. Eboni Marshall Turman, Duke Divinity School, Durham, NC

Dr. Kevin R. Johnson, Bright Hope Baptist Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Dr. Jimmy Cummings, United Methodist (Pastor Emeritus)

Rev. Markel Hutchins, Atlanta GA

Dr. Gerald Durley, Pastor, Providence Missionary Baptist Church, Atlanta, GA

Dr. J. Alfred Smith, Sr. (Pastor Emeritus, Allen Temple, Oakland)

J. Alfred Smith, Jr., Pastor, Allen Temple, Oakland, CA

Dr. Frank Pinkard, Pastor, Evergreen Baptist Church, Oakland, CA

Dr. Cecil Williams, (Pastor Emeritus) Glide Memorial, San Francisco, CA

Rabbi David Saperstein, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

Donald L Cash Sr, UFCW Minority Coalition

Dr. Eboni Marshall Turman, Duke Divinity School

Dr. Kevin R. Johnson, Bright Hope Baptist Church

Rabbi Jonathan Freirich Temple Beth El, Charlotte, NC

Rabbi Stacy Offner, Temple Beth Tikvah, Madison, CT

Rabbi Gerald Serotta, Shirat Hanefesh, Chevy Chase, MD

Rabbi Abie Ingber, Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH

Mayer Selekman, CCAR, Bala Cynwyd, Pa.

Rabbi Michael Adam Latz, Shir Tikvah Congregation, Minneapolis, MN

Rabbi Bryna Milkow, Reform Judaism, Derry, NH

Leonard S Zoll, CCAR, Escondido, Ca

Rabbi Adam Stock Spilker, Mount Zion Temple, St. Paul Minnesota

Rabbi Douglas E. Krantz, Congregation B’nai Yisrael, Armonk, NY

Rabbi Kenneth Carr, Congregation Or Ami, Lafayette Hill

Rabbi Michael Satz, Congregation Beth Israel, San Diego, CA

Rabbi Serena Fujita, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA

Samuel Stahl, Temple Beth-El, San Antonio, Texas

Rabbi Donald A. Weber, Temple Rodeph Torah, Marlboro, NJ

Karen Bender, Temple Judea, Tarzana, Ca

Rabbi Sally J. Priesand, Monmouth Reform Temple, Ocean Township, NJ

Rabbi Jordan Cohen Temple Anshe Sholom Hamilton, Ontario

Rabbi James Bennett Congregation Shaare Emeth, Saint Louis, Missouri

Rabbi Erin Glazer, Temple Emanu-El, Westfield

Gustav Buchdahl, Temple Emanuel, Baltimore, Maryland

Rabbi Misha Zinkow, Temple Israel, Columbus, Ohio

Rabbi Sandra Katz, Jewish Senior Life, Rochester, NY

Rabbi Andrew Klein, Temple Habonim, Barrington, Rhode Island

Alexis Berk, Touro Synagogue, New Orleans, Louisiana

Rabbi Paul Jacobson, Temple Avodat Shalom, River Edge, NJ

Rabbi Jennifer Jaech. Temple Israel of Northern Westchester, Croton-on-Hudson, New York

Samuel L. Spector, Union for Reform Judaism, Los Angeles, CA

Rabbi Jessica Oleon Kirschner, Temple Sinai, Washington, DC

Rabbi Lawrence Englander, Solel Congregation, Mississauga, Ontario Canada

Max Weiss, Oak Park Temple B’nai Abraham Zion, Oak Park, Il

Rabbi Robert A. Seigel, Rabbi Emeritus, Temple Beth Israel, Fresno. CA

Rabbi Walter Homolka, Rector of the Abraham Geiger College, Berlin, Germany

Rabbi Esther Lederman, Temple Micah Washington DC

Martin Weiner, CCAR, San Francisco, CA

Rabbi David S. Widzer, Temple Beth El of Northern Valley, Closter, NJ

Rabbi Morley Feinstein, University Synagogue, Los Angeles, CA

Rabbi Beth Schwartz, Temple Israel, Columbus, GA

Rabbi James A. Gibson, Temple Sinai, Pittsburgh, PA

Rabbi Barry Block, Congregation B’nai Israel, Little Rock, Arkansas

Rabbi Paul Kipnes, Congregation Or Ami, Calabasas, CA

Uri Barnea, Temple B’nai Israel, Hattiesburg, MS

Rabbi Suzanne Singer, Temple Beth El, Riverside, CA

Rabbi Gordon Gladstone, D.D., Rabbi Emeritus, Temple Beth Am, Bayonne, New Jersey

Rabbi Rick Shapiro, Temple Israel. Westport, CT

Rabbi Evan Schultz, Congregation B’nai Israel, Bridgeport, CT

Rabbi Joshua S. Taub, Temple Emanuel, Beaumont, Texas

Rabbi Stephen A. Arnold, CCAR, Hingham, MA

Rabbi Anne Belford, Temple Sinai, Houston, Texas

Ronald Stern, Stephen S. Wise Temple, Los Angeles, CA

Rosalind A. Gold, Central Conference of American Rabbis, Reston, Virginia

Mark Shapiro, Springfield, MA

Rabbi Arthur Bielfeld CM, Temple Emanu-El, Toronto, Canada

Rabbi Jennifer Marx Asch, CCAR, Exeter, NH

Rabbi Rachel Goldenberg, Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek, Chester, CT

Rabbi Jonathan R. Katz, Temple Beth Israel, Longboat Key, Florida

Rabbi Gary Glickstein, Temple Beth Sholom, Miami Beach, Florida

Rabbi Peter E. Kasdan, Temple Emanu-El of West Essex, Livingston, New Jersey

Rabbi Dean Shapiro, Temple Emanuel, Tempe, AZ

Noah Chertkoff, Congregation Shalom, Milwaukee, WI – Wisconsin

Rabbi Peter Stein, Temple Sinai, Cranston, RI

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, Union for Reform Judaism, New York, New York

Rabbi Michael Weinberg, Temple Beth Israel, Skokie, IL

Allen B. Bennett, Retired, San Francisco, CA

Rabbi Joel R. Schwartzman, Central Conference of American Rabbis, Denver, Colorado

Rabbi Sheldon Moss D.D.,Ph.D, Temple Beth Shalom, Sun, Arizona

Rabbi Henry Jay Karp, Temple Emanuel, Davenport, Iowa

Rabbi Judy Cohen-Rosenberg, Community Reform Temple, Westbury, NY

Rabbi Elias Lieberman, Falmouth Jewish Congregation, East Falmouth, Massachusetts

Rabbi Devorah Marcus, Temple Emanu-El, San Diego, CA

Rabbi Louis Rieser, Retired, Boynton Beach, FL

Rabbi Richard A. Block, The Temple – Tifereth Israel, Beachwood, Ohio

Rabbi Shelley Kovar Becker, Gishrei Shalom, Southington, CT

Helene Ferris, CCAR, Ossining, NY

Rabbi Sanford Shapero World Wide New Media, Beverly Hills, California

Rabbi Ellen Dreyfus, B’nai Yehuda Beth Sholom, Homewood, IL

Rabbi Martin Lawson, Temple Emanu-El, San Diego, CA

Bradd H. Boxman, Congregation Kol Tikvah, Parkland, Florida

Rabbi James B. Rosenberg, Central Conference of American Rabbis, Providence, Rhode Island

Rabbi Michael L. Kramer, retired, Hockessin, DE

Rabbi Gary M. Bretton-Granatioor, World Union for Progressive Judaism, New York, New York

Rabbi Marci Bellows, Temple B’nai Torah, Wantagh, NY

Eliot Baskin, JFS, Denver, CO

Rabbi Rachel Timoner, Leo Baeck Temple, Los Angeles, CA

Rabbi Dr. Laurence Milder, Congregation Beth Emek, Pleasanton, California

James G. Sanderson, Trinity Episcopal Church, Bayonne, New Jersey, USA

Rabbi Bruce Kadden, Temple Beth El, Tacoma, WA

Rabbi Stephen M Wylen, Temple Beth Tikvah, Wayne, NJ

Rabbi John Rosove, Temple Israel of Hollywood Los Angeles California

Richard Laurence Klein, Temple Emanu-El, Sarasota, FL

Rabbi Harry D Rothstein, individual, Yonkers, New York

Rabbi Lawrence Karol, Union for Reform Judaism, Las Cruces, New Mexico

Michael Mellen, Jewish Youth Works, New York, NY

Rabbi Neal Gold, Temple Shir Tikva, Wayland, MA

Rabbi Elyse Frishman, The Barnert Temple, Franklin Lakes

Rabbi Danny Gottlieb, Congregation Beth Israel Judea, San Francisco, CA

Rabbi Floyd Herman, Har Sinai Congregation, Owings Mills, Maryland

Steve Westman, Temple Beth El, W. Palm Beach, FL

Rabbi Andrew Sklarz, Greenwich Reform Synagogue, Greenwich, CT

Rabbi Arnold I. Sher, CCAR, Fairfield, Connecticut

Rabbi Emeritus Donald Berlin, Temple Oheb Shalom, Baltimore, Maryland

Jordana Chernow, Temple Beth Torah, Ventura, California

Laura Harari, Temple Rodef Sholom, Waco, TX

Rabbi Loraine Heller, Independent, New York, New York

Rabbi Steven Chester, Temple Sinai, Oakland, California

Rabbi Leah Cohen, Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale, New Haven, Connecticut

Gayle Pomerantz, Temple Beth Sholom Miami Beach, FL

Rabbi Jeremy Master, Temple of Israel, Greenville, South Carolina

Rev. Gerard A Pisand Jr, (Retired) Episcopal Priest, Apex, NC

Ruth Marsh, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Raleigh, NC

Rabbi Victor Appell, Union for Reform Judaism, New York, NY

Arnold Temple Beth-El, Hillsborough, NJ

Dwight Tintle, J and D Health, Apex, NC

Rabbi David J. Meyer, Temple Emanu-El, Marblehead MA

Lou Leffler, (Retired), Seneca, SC

Rabbi Deborah Hirsch, Temple Shaaray Tefila, New York, New York

Scott Sperling Valley Interfaith Council, Winchester, VA

Rabbi Daniel A. Roberts Temple Emanu El, Cleveland, Ohio

Davidson Rabbi Jerome K., Hebrew Union College, New York, NY

Rabbi Scott Aaron, Pittsburgh, PA

Rabbi David C. Levy, Temple Shalo, Succasunna, NJ

Rabbi Amy L. Memis-Foler, Temple Judea Mizpah, Skokie, IL

Steve Gross, HCRJ, Houston, Texas

Rabbi Andrew Straus, Temple Sinai, Oakland, CA

Rabbi Ralph Mecklenburger, Beth-El Congregation, Fort Worth, Texas

Rabbi Marcus Burstein, Jewish Family Congregation, South Salem, NY

Paul Golomb, Vassar Temple, Poughkeepsie, NY

Rabbi Randy Sheinberg, Temple Tikvah, New Hyde Park, NY

Rabbi Fred Greene, Temple Beth Tikvah, Roswell, GA

Rabbi Dr. Stephen J. Einstein, Congregation B’nai Tzedek, Fountain Valley, CA

Rabbi Bernie Robinson, (Retired), San Rafael, California

Rabbi Renni S. Altman, HUC-JIR, New York, NY

Rabbi Norman Roman, Temple Kol Ami ,West Bloomfield, MI

Rabbi Marc A. Gruber,Central Synagogue of Nassau County, Rockville Centre, New York

Rabbi Erica Asch, Temple Beth El, Augusta, ME

Karen Strok, Leo Baeck Temple, Los Angeles, CA

Rabbi Batsheva Appel, Temple Emanu-El, Tucson, AZ

Rabbi Beth Singer, Congregation Emanu-El, San Francisco, CA

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