Top cleric warns against demonising gay people
The Archbishop of Canterbury last night warned against "demonising" homosexuals, as he struggled to prevent a spilt in the worldwide Anglican Communion over gay and women bishops.
Speaking in Dublin, Archbishop Rowan Williams was commenting on "the horrific murder" last week of David Kato, a prominent Ugandan gay rights activist whose picture was published by an anti-gay newspaper next to the words, "Hang Them".
Dr Williams said Mr Kato's murder illustrated the fact "words have results".
"You cannot go around sharing information about the identity of proposed lesbian and gay persons and urging people to ostracise them or worse 'Hang Them' as in the headlines of one of the Ugandan newspapers," he said, speaking to the media at the Emmaus retreat centre in Swords, Co Dublin.
"You cannot do that without taking responsibility for the consequences. Language which demonises gays and lesbians has consequences."
The primate of Uganda was one of seven archbishops who boycotted the six-day summit meeting of world Anglican leaders hosted by the primate of Ireland Alan Harper.
This group did not want to sit at a conference with the head of the Episcopal Church in America, Katherine Jefferts Schori, who preached at the Communion service in Dublin's Christ Church cathedral yesterday.