Bishop Kirk Smith of Arizona has added his name to the number of people who have contacted Archbishop Akinola asking him to intervene in stopping the progress of the anti-glbt legislation through the legislature of Nigeria.
Here’s the letter he sent.
March 2, 2007
My brother bishop in Christ,
Peace be to you in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
I pray that you will use your influence with the Senate of Nigeria to
oppose the Same-sex Prohibition Act. Please remind the Senators that:
- Paragraph 146 of the Windsor Report of the WorldWide Anglican
Communion states that “any demonizing of homosexual persons, or their ill treatment, is
totally against Christian charity and basic principles of pastoral care”; and
- Nigeria is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, which guarantees freedom from unfair discrimination, and the right to privacy; and
- Those rights are also affirmed in the Constitution of Nigeria.
Thank you for your attention. I look forward to meeting you at the upcoming Lambeth Conference.
May you have a blessed Lent and Easter.
+The Rt. Rev. Kirk Stevan Smith
Bishop of Arizona, USA
For what it’s worth, I sent a similar letter in my capacity as Dean of Trinity Cathedral here in Phoenix.
I have no idea if the letters we sent – or that many around the world sent – were effective or not. However late word has come today that bill that was being discussed has been withdrawn.
Praise God for that!
A couple of people have asked me for a direct link to news that the legislation has been withdrawn. Other than a comment on this blog from a friend I know if carefully following these developments, and a letter published on Integrity USA’s website that seems to imply that a withdraw has occurred, I’ve not found any other corroborating info yet.
So – I’ll add the caveat that the news is not verified. If anyone does find more sources that report more definitively, please let me know!
I wish I could give the letter that appeared on the “Integrity” site as assured a postive reading, esp. after scouring AllAfrica.com, and more than a few regional, country-specific, and world news sites and discovering no hint of the hoped-for action. Consistent with a couple of other typos/grammatical inconsistencies in the letter, “withdrew” plausibly becomes “withdraw”: “We want to thank you … for spreading the news about our situation … to individuals who have been calling and putting pressures on the Nigerian government … to … rethink and WITHDRAW the fast moving bill …” Hopeful but not yet assured. I pray I’m an over-fatigued, hypercricital former copy-editor who’s proved wrong by morning.