Senator Coons: Uganda should end effort to criminalize homosexuality

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 12, 2011
CONTACT: Ian Koski at 202-224-4216 or Ian_Koski@coons.senate.gov

Senator Coons: Uganda should end effort to criminalize homosexuality
Africa subcommittee chair calls on Uganda’s parliament to drop controversial legislation

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs, released the following statement today calling on Uganda’s parliament to drop the Anti Homosexuality Bill currently under consideration:

“Leaders in Uganda should end their efforts to criminalize homosexuality. The Anti Homosexuality Bill currently under consideration in the Ugandan Parliament is draconian, in contravention of international law, and simply wrong. It goes far beyond discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and makes homosexual conduct punishable by prison time or death.  It promotes a climate of oppression and fear, and violates human rights standards universally recognized by the international community.  It has also been decried by Uganda’s own Human Rights Commission, which issued a report in October 2010 concluding it was unconstitutional and inconsistent with international legal obligations.”

“I strongly support the efforts of President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and other international leaders urging Ugandan lawmakers to reject this bill and safeguard human rights for the people of Uganda.  Equality and human rights are intrinsic values that matter in America, in Uganda, and around the world. Criminalizing homosexuality moves Uganda further away from these values and further from the international community.  If the bill becomes law, it will impact Uganda’s relationship with the United States.”

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