Archive for the 'Barney Frank' Category

Barney Frank Blasts Uganda Over Anti-Gay Law

Former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Repost from the Washington Blade

Former Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank on Wednesday blasted the Ugandan government over a law that imposes a life sentence upon anyone found guilty of repeated same-sex sexual acts.

The gay Democrat noted during a hearing the Tom Lantos Commission on Human Rights held on the World Bank and human rights at the U.S. Capitol that he was among the members of Congress who in 2000 supported debt forgiveness for Uganda under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative.

“One of the things that we were told by some leaders of some countries who have engaged in vicious persecution of people who share my sexual orientation [is] ‘stay out of [our] business; you have no right to tell us what to do,’” said Frank. “Uganda was not so angry about gay people intruding in their business when in 2000, along with three of my colleagues, I was one of the leaders in passing a bill that gave them hundreds of millions of dollars in debt relief. We put that through and it was serious debt relief for Uganda.”

Frank also dismissed claims that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who signed the so-called Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law in February, and others have made that suggest the West brought homosexuality into Africa.

“The argument that we’re meddling in other people’s business; that’s total hypocrisy,” said the former congressman, referring once again to the 2000 debt cancellation. “People welcomed our help.” Continue Reading 

Frank Speaks Out Against Ugandan “Anti-Homosexuality” Bill

Barney FrankTuesday, May 10, 2011

For Immediate Release

Contact: Harry Gural
Phone: (202) 225-9400
Cell:  (202) 281-0670

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Barney Frank today released the following statement regarding news that the parliament of Uganda is on the verge of passing a bill to deny LGBT individuals basic human rights.

“I’m disturbed by the news that Uganda is considering going ahead with a measure that denies the humanity of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.”

“I was pleased when the Financial Services Committee overwhelmingly, in a bipartisan way, voted in favor of my amendment urging the Secretary of the Treasury to oppose any financial assistance from multilateral development institutions to countries that persecute people on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity or religious beliefs. In the discussion of the amendment I offered, I specifically mentioned the deeply troubling case of Uganda, which is now considering legislation to legally deprive people of these basic human rights.”

“If the bill before the Ugandan parliament becomes law, it must be the policy of the United States government to oppose any aid to Uganda from the World Bank, the African Development Bank, or any other international financial institution of which we are a member.”

Frank Amendment on the Persecution of Sexual and Religious Minorities Passes the House Financial Services Committee

Press Release from the Office of Congressman Barney Frank

For Immediate Release

Contact: Harry Gural
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Phone: (202) 225-9400
Cell:  (202) 281-0670

Frank Amendment on the Persecution of Sexual and Religious Minorities Passes the House Financial Services Committee

WASHINGTON – Congressman Barney Frank, Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, today introduced an amendment in the Committee which would have the effect of pressuring countries which persecute people on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or religious belief.  Although most votes in the committee have broken along party lines, Congressman Frank’s amendment passed the Committee with near-unanimous support.  The text of the amendment follows:

The Committee urges Treasury to advocate that governments receiving assistance from the multilateral development institutions do not engage in gross violations of human rights, for example, the denial of freedom of religion, including the right to choose one’s own religion, and physical persecution based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

“What we have seen in recent years is a pattern of gross violation of human rights in some countries – extreme physical persecution and even execution,” said Congressman Frank.  “In Uganda for example, which was the major beneficiary of our Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Debt Initiative, there has been physical persecution of people who are sexual minorities.”

“The United States has a fairly influential voice in the development area.  And we should not be supportive of providing multilateral bank development funds going to the governments of countries which engage in the physical persecution of people because of their religious beliefs, sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Frank’s amendment will now be included in the language of House Financial Services Committee bill which outlines budget priorities for issues under its jurisdiction.  Because of the overwhelming support for Frank’s language in today’s deliberations, it is hoped that it will also garner support in the Budget Committee and in the House as a whole.

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