Anglican leader condemns Ugandan activist murder

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The head of the worldwide Anglican church condemned Friday the murder of Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato and urged an end to "bigotry" against homosexuals.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said it was time to take "very serious stock" of attitudes which endanger the lives of sexual minorities.

"The brutal murder of David Kato Kisule, a gay human rights activist, is profoundly shocking. Our prayers and deep sympathy go out for his family and friends -- and for all who live in fear for their lives," he said in a statement.

"Whatever the precise circumstances of his death, which have yet to be determined, we know that David Kato Kisule lived under the threat of violence and death.

"No one should have to live in such fear because of the bigotry of others."

The archbishop said such violence "has been consistently condemned by the Anglican Communion worldwide."

He added: "This is a moment to take very serious stock and to address those attitudes of mind which endanger the lives of men and women belonging to sexual minorities."

Anglicanism is one of the main faiths in the former British colony but its conservative leaders are opposed to homosexuality.

At a meeting in Entebbe, Uganda, of African bishops last August attended by Williams, conference host and Ugandan Archbishop Uganda Henry Luke Orombi said, "Homosexuality is incompatible with the word of God."

Williams said Kato's murder Wednesday also made it "all the more urgent" for the British government to secure the safety of asylum seekers fleeing persecution in their home countries because of their sexual orientation.

Homosexuality is illegal in many African countries and is punishable by a prison sentence.

© 2011 AFP

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