kampalaA diverse group of U.S. Christian leaders — who don’t always see eye to eye on same-sex lifestyle issues — have spoken out against a law under consideration in Uganda that could make homosexual behavior punishable by death. You can see the full statement and list of signatories here.

Our Christian faith recognizes violence, harassment and unjust treatment of any human being as a betrayal of Jesus’ commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves. As followers of the teachings of Christ, we must express profound dismay at a bill currently before  the Parliament in Uganda. The ‘Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2009′ would enforce lifetime prison sentences and in some cases the death penalty for homosexual behavior, as well as punish citizens for not
reporting their gay and lesbian neighbors to the authorities
,” it says in part.

Regardless of the diverse theological views of our religious traditions regarding the morality of homosexuality, in our churches, communities and families, we seek to embrace our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters as God’s children worthy of respect and love,” it added.

The signatories included leading centrist evangelical activists such as David Gushee of Mercer University and those from a range of other faith traditions such as Adam Tice, the Associate Pastor of Hyattsville Mennonite Church.  The  Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership
Conference,
whose members tend to take a conservative line on social issues, also signed up,  as did Jim Wallis, President of the lefty evangelical group Sojourners.

Uganda is likely to pass the bill criminalising homosexuality in the east African nation and deal a blow to rights activists, but the act will have some changes to appease donors who fund about a third of the budget.