Bishop of Coventry asks Government about asylum for Ugandan LGBT people

On 23rd July 2014, Lord Lexden asked Her Majesty’s Government what action they propose to take over the abuse of the human rights of LGBT people in Uganda as a result of the passing of the Anti-Homosexuality Act there. The Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, asked a supplementary question:

13.10 Bishop of CoventryThe Lord Bishop of Coventry: My Lords, I apologise to the Minister for my enthusiasm. I have not asked a question in this House before so I wanted to get on with it. The Minister will be aware that the most reverend Primates the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York wrote to the President of Uganda in January to reiterate a statement made by all the Primates of the Anglican Communion, in which they said:

“The victimisation or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us”.

In that spirit, do the Government intend to provide asylum to those who are fleeing the worrying consequences of this law which enshrines such diminishment?

Noble Lords: My Lords—
Baroness Warsi: We have an eager House today.

We take our responsibilities in relation to people who come to this country to apply for political asylum very seriously, which is something that we should be proud of. I think that the right reverend Prelate would accept that it would not be possible for us to offer asylum to anybody who has been suffering persecution on the basis of sexuality, gender, race or religion around the world. Therefore, the approach of successive Governments has always been to work with the country to ensure that the country itself protects those citizens. There is some hope. The Ugandan Government made a statement on 7 July reiterating their commitment to the rights of individuals and to ensuring that minority communities had access to healthcare, NGOs and civil society organisations. It is important that we ensure that the Ugandan Government stick to those commitments they have made.



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