The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a Quaker organization that believes in the worth of every person, is deeply troubled by the Uganda anti-gay law signed by Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni on Feb. 24, 2014.

The law violates the basic human rights of gay people. It not only criminalizes an entire group, thus isolating them from full participation in their communities, it also endangers their very lives by emboldening bigoted behavior including mob attacks.

Instead of endorsing laws or nurturing behaviors that willfully discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation, AFSC urges Uganda’s communities and lawmakers instead to promote policies and practices of inclusion, love, tolerance, and understanding among all.

While public attention is focused on anti-gay laws, communities are largely silent about the widespread sexual abuse of vulnerable boys and girls. This crisis should be addressed as well to prevent future tragedies.