United Methodists are increasingly aware of the violation of human rights through the criminalization of homosexuality in countries such as Uganda, Nigeria, Russia, and India. These unjust measures reflect a concerning trend as reports indicate that five countries make homosexuality a capital offense, and imprisonment is possible in 66 countries.
This kind of legislation predictably is leading to increased marginalization, harassment, and exploitation in our global civil society. Whatever our understanding of sexual orientation, the criminalization of homosexuality is not compatible with the United Methodist Social Principles including the one that states that basic rights and civil liberties are “due all persons…regardless of sexual orientation” (BOD par. 162J).