Dignity Canada Dignité

Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister
Government of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa ON  K1A 0A6                                                                                                                   March 5, 2014

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

Re. Oppressive Legislation in Uganda, Russia and Nigeria

I am writing on behalf of Dignity Canada Dignité, an organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Catholics and allies in Canada, to express our outrage at the draconian anti-gay legislation that has recently become law in Uganda, Russia and Nigeria.  LGBT citizens in all three countries are now subject to mob attacks, often with no response from local police. They are being humiliated, assaulted, sometimes killed by gangs and under the new legislation are subject to prolonged incarceration.

We are asking the Government of Canada to respond to this intolerable situation by taking a number of actions:

  1. Expedite asylum in Canada for those LGBT persons who need to flee their home country to escape threats of assault and prolonged incarceration. It’s our understanding that Scotland has officially declared it will offer asylum to "any Ugandan" persecuted by the new law.
  1. Refuse to grant Canadian visas or entry into Canada to those politicians who voted in support of this hideous legislation or to prominent supporters of the oppressive laws in these countries.  I’m sure that Canada’s ambassadors to these countries can identify the individuals. In Uganda, this would include President Yoweri Museveni and Mr. David Bahati, M.P.
  1. These travel restrictions should also be extended to those religious leaders in North America that have deliberately, methodically exported hatred and homophobia. This includes Mr. Scott Lively and Mr. Peter LaBarbera from American organizations such as the International House of Prayer, and Americans for Truth about Homosexuality. They have spread untruths about LGBT persons’ sexually abusing children in an effort to recruit them. Understandably, this has frightened parents and other adults who do not recognize how they are being manipulated by these hateful preachers. At the same time, the politicians there must accept responsibility for either accepting these fabrications uncritically and/or using LGBT persons as scapegoats to distract their citizens from the poverty, unemployment, political corruption, and other serious economic and social problems facing their countries.
  1. Freeze the Canadian assets of the politicians and religious leaders above.

We urge the Government of Canada to take decisive action in order to save the lives of LGBT persons who are the targets of these repressive laws.

Yours truly,

Frank Testin
Dignity Canada Dignit

Hon. John Baird, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs
Hon. Chris Alexander, P.C., M.P., Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Dignity Canada Dignité is Canada's organization of Roman Catholics who are concerned about our church's sexual theology, particularly as it pertains to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons. We work in collaboration with other Catholic organizations seeking reform in our church's leadership and teachings.