LGBTQ and Faith in Uganda: Beyond the Single Story
On Thursday, March 17, 2022, LGBTQ-RAN hosted a discussion on LGBTQ religious activism in Uganda in recent decades. We presented an overview of the historical context of Christianity in Africa in the 20th century and the influence of evangelical Christians from the U.S. coming to Uganda. We also heard from three Ugandan religious activists about their struggles and accomplishments over the past twenty years and look ahead to the future.
Adriaan van Klinken is Professor and Chair of Religion and African Studies at the University of Leeds (UK), where he also serves as director of the Centre for Religion and Public Life. He also is Extraordinary Professor in the Desmond Tutu Centre for Religion and Social Justice at the University of the Western Cape (South Africa). Adriaan’s research focuses on Christianity, gender and sexuality in contemporary African contexts. His most recent books are: Reimagining Christianity and Sexual Diversity in Africa co-authored with Ezra Chitando and Sacred Queer Stories: Ugandan LGBTQ+ Refugee Lives and the Bible along with Johanna Stiebert, Sebyala Brian, and Fredrick Hudson.
Bishop Joseph Tolton is the Founder and President of Interconnected Justice, established in 2019, as a global racial justice movement in which the continent of Africa and its diaspora build an ecosystem of self-defined and determined advocacy. As an LGBT global faith leader, Bishop Tolton also serves as the Bishop of Global Ministries for The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries, designing and managing TFAM’s justice ministries and collaborations outside of the United States with a focus on East Africa. Bishop Tolton works directly with leaders to build integrated justice movements connecting activists with civil society advocates, media professionals, academics, and political leaders.
Diane Sydney Bakuraira is a cofounder of Women of Faith in Action that advocates for inclusion of women in leadership positions in the church in Uganda. Among other advocacy work, Diane has served as board chair of Freedom and Roam Uganda from 2013-2015 and on the board of the Uganda Coalition of Affirming Africans (UCAA). She is now the Linking and Learning Officer at Sexual Minorities Uganda,
Simon Anthony Mpinga is a preacher, human rights activist and defender, author, musician, motivational speaker, worship leader and organiser. He is the senior pastor of TFAM UGANDA an LGBTIQ-grounded church, executive director of Global Partners in Christ Fellowship which is an LGBTIQ organisation and country director of Forward Together in Uganda.
Tom Twongyeirwe is the National Coordinator of the United Coalition of Affirming Africans Uganda (UCAA-UG), a coalition of religious leaders that advocates for inclusion and respect of human rights of LGBT+ persons in Uganda using a faith based approach. For more information, visit: www.ucaaug.org