This is a reprint of what I published on The Lead today. This video offers a first look at "Voices of Witness: Africa", a new film by Integrity USA that offers stories of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Christians in Africa. It will premiere at the Lambeth Conference on July 23rd at 8 p.m. in Keynes Lecture Theatre 1.
Ruth Gledhill was given a preview of the film and her brief interview of film editor Katie Sherrod is at the start of the clip above. Here are her observations after seeing the film:
The result is an incredibly powerful and moving film which is to be sent to every one of the 880 bishops in the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion.
. . .
The stories include a transgendered male-to-female Nigerian, a partnered lesbian activist in Uganda, a transgendered male-to-female Ugandan, a Kenyan who was abused along with his twin brother by an uncle, a gay Ugandan farmer, gay partners in Kenya who dream of having their union blessed and a gay Nigerian who was beaten badly simply for being gay.
Considering the penalties in Africa for being actively gay - in Uganda it carries a life sentence - these people must be applauded for their bravery.
There can be no doubt that the Anglican Communion is moving in the direction of inclusivity. With barely 100 conservative bishops here in Canterbury and 230 boycotting the conference, the conservative voice is unlikely to prevail.
Read it all here.
The full video, "Voices of Witness: Africa", be found at the Integrity USA blog.
Since this was posted by the way, the Anglican right wing has gone bonkers. The themee of their criticism is best summarized by this vomment by blogger Baby Blue on Ruth Gledhill's blog:
An incredibly irresponsible thing to do - which shows us just how ignorant these Americans are about African culture and African politics - they view everything through the prism of their own experience - shame on them. And shame on the Americans for exploiting them for their own political gain. This is exploitation at its worse. It is not the Christians but the Islamic fundamentalists who want to kill these people - remember, Iran says they have no homosexuals and the reason they can get away with saying something so provocative is either because they are all dead or they are threatened with death. For the American Episcopalians to exploit Africans from countries where there are similar efforts underway by Islamic extremists is simply beyond belief.