Faith Leaders Responding to National Prayer Breakfast

This morning, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke out against the pending anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda at the 58th National Prayer Breakfast. Hosted by members of Congress and sponsored by the Fellowship Foundation, otherwise known as The Family, the breakfast was attended by foreign leaders, U.S. government officials and invited guests. The breakfast has been attended by every president since President Eisenhower, and takes place annually in Washington, DC.

During his address, President Obama stated that it is unconscionable, at home or abroad, to target lesbians and gays for who they are. Moreover, he described the Ugandan anti-homosexuality bill as “odious.” Secretary Clinton stated that she has spoken to President Musseveni of Uganda about the despicable nature of the pending legislation. In addition, she ensured breakfast attendees that her Department will continue to address international human rights violations of lesbians and gays.

We are glad to see that President Obama and Secretary Clinton are calling on communities of faith to unite against intolerance. We look forward to their continued leadership on this issue at home and abroad.

As mentioned in previous posts to this blog, the host of the National Prayer Breakfast, The Family, finances and gives technical support and training to political and faith leaders around the globe with a goal of spreading an anti-LGBT message worldwide. Work of The Family is directly tied to the draconian anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda. In fact, the sponsor of the Ugandan bill, David Bahati, has previously attended the National Prayer Breakfast and was once again invited this year — however, he did not attend.

Following the National Prayer Breakfast, an American Prayer Hour will take place in at least 17 cities across the nation. HRC is proud to be a part of the American Prayer Hour which is an affirmation of inclusive values and a celebration of the diversity that is the bedrock of our nation. Video from Tuesday’s press conference on the American Prayer Hour is in a previous HRC Back Story post and for more information about the American Prayer Hour visit their site at

Statement released from Harry Knox, director of HRC’s religion and faith program:

Statement from Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church:

“I spent time in Uganda to help set up HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs many years ago. Ugandans are a generous and hospitable people. But because of an unholy alliance between conservative religious groups in this country and anti-gay forces overseas Ugandans are turning on their own Ugandan sons and daughters who happen to be gay. This proposed law is a threat to LGBT people in Uganda and everywhere.   Around 35% of Ugandans are Anglican and 45% are Catholic. Although many faith leaders have stood by silently, today we speak out on behalf of the marginalized. Faith leaders of all traditions should speak out for the most vulnerable in Uganda before it’s too late.”

Uganda is considering the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009, put forth by parliamentarian David Bahati and initially backed by President Yoweri Museveni. If passed, the new law would unleash a vicious campaign of persecution against LGBT citizens. Bahati and President Museveni are members of The Family and are among their “key men” in Africa. The Family hosts the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. The American Prayer Hour will show that such cruelty and extremism does not represent most people of faith.