Uganda bishop receiving Clinton award for LGBT rights work

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Ugandas_Bishop_Christopher_Senyonjo

Bishop Christopher Senyonjo

Bishop Christopher Senyonjo of Kampala, Uganda, will receive a Clinton Global Citizen Award at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting later Sept. 25 for his work to support the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people through the St. Paul's Reconciliation and Equality Centre in Kampala.  

The award recognizes Senyonjo's work in promoting the equal rights of LGBT people in Uganda and across more than 70 countries where being LGBT is illegal and often persecuted.

"I am deeply honored to receive this award and President Clinton has moved the world one step closer to a place where it should no longer be illegal to love someone or persecute those of us who want to provide pastoral care and support," he said in a news release.

Rev. Canon Albert Ogle, president of the St. Paul's Foundation, has gathered financial support from donors such as the Elton John AIDS Foundation and Ford Foundation and was with the bishop on Sept. 25. "President Clinton is honoring a great man who has helped many of us realize the extent of homophobia in our churches and cultures and the profound economic and psychological damage it does to millions of human beings every day," he said.

For the past decade, Senyonjo has said that the rights of LGBT people are tightly linked to a range of development challenges, including women's rights, gender equality, economic empowerment, HIV/AIDS prevention and employment. 

This is the first time Bill Clinton's initiative has recognized leadership on LGBT issues.