Posts Tagged 'Adrian Jjuuko'

LGBT Human Rights and Foreign Policy

The Council for Global Equality posted a series of four blog posts on LGBT human rights issues and foreign policy over the past week. The posts touch on public diplomacy, national values, the current Administration’s actions and the lack of discussion of human rights during this presidential election cycle. Below is roll up of all four posts with links to the full postings.

The Place of Human Rights The Place of Human Rights

Another new year. Another chance to put things right. For the Council for Global Equality, that means elevating the place of human rights – including those of LGBT, intersex and other vulnerable minorities – in America’s foreign policy. Continue Reading 


LGBT Human Rights in U.S. Foreign Policy

LGBT Human Rights in U.S. Foreign Policy

A December 20 New York Times story alleged that U.S. attention to discrimination and hate crimes against LGBT people in Nigeria had worsened, in fact, their plight. Others – including the State Department, Ugandan LGBT rights defenders Frank Mugisha and Adrian Jjuko, and Nigeria’s LGBT rights community – already have pointed out the flaws in that article. Continue Reading.


Governments and Human Rights Governments and Human Rights

The Council pays particular attention to the role that foreign governments play, or fail to play, in preserving and advancing the rights of their LGBT citizens. In our own country, we’ve seen how policies pursued by this President have helped empower greater respect and protections for LGBT persons. The same could happen in many countries abroad. Continue Reading.


Matters of the Heart Matters of the Heart

Our country increasingly has come to terms with the need for fairness toward LGBT Americans – and few have questioned the premise that LGBT human rights abuse, like all human rights abuse, must be challenged. Continue Reading.

LGBT Human Rights in U.S. Foreign Policy

theplaceofhumanrights-cge-blogA December 20 New York Times story alleged that U.S. attention to discrimination and hate crimes against LGBT people in Nigeria had worsened, in fact, their plight. Others – including the State Department, Ugandan LGBT rights defenders Frank Mugisha and Adrian Jjuko, and Nigeria’s LGBT rights community – already have pointed out the flaws in that article.

We found especially unfortunate the Times article’s failure to recognize that a country’s foreign policy must be rooted in national values – and that if we are to stand for human rights, that stand must be made on principles, not on convenience. As such, we cannot prioritize one set of rights or one persecuted group above another. As a corollary, nor can we remain silent when any one group is persecuted.

For over 100 years, advancing human rights has been a U.S. foreign policy goal. That goal achieved particular prominence during the administration of Franklin Roosevelt: his wife Eleanor, known as an outspoken human rights advocate, chaired the committee that drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and gave birth to the modern human rights movement.

The Obama Administration’s advocacy of LGBT human rights is part of that proud tradition. At heart, the Administration’s policy simply reaffirms the Universal Declaration’s namesake principle that no part of humanity – no individual, no minority group – can be excluded from the promise of fundamental human rights. Making that promise explicitly applicable to LGBT people in Nigeria and other countries where LGBT lives and liberties are under vicious attack isn’t a mistake – indeed, failure to do so would be the shameful mistake. Speaking out against injustice is sound and principled policy. It should be a mark of pride for all Americans and for each successive Administration after President Obama leaves office.

Uganda’s Current Parliamentary Session Closed Without Vote on Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Uganda Parliament

photo: Andrew Regan

May 13, 2011 – After two years of dangerous discussion, the current parliamentary session in Uganda closed today without a vote on the “anti-homosexuality” bill.  The coordinator of the civil society coalition opposing the bill, Adrian Jjuuko, put it this way: “The Ugandan parliament has closed today. . . . Thus the Anti-Homosexuality Bill has to be reintroduced in the new parliament and the whole process to begin all over again.  Thank you all for the efforts and solidarity in fighting this ominous bill. The struggle may have to begin all over again, but for now, the process is over.”

Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill was introduced in 2009.  It was an affront to the lives and dignity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Ugandans and a threat to democracy and human rights throughout the country.  Indeed, it was the most extreme attempt by any country anywhere to criminalize same-sex relations and relationships, even imposing the death penalty in certain cases.  It also would have criminalized those who provide assistance to LGBT citizens, including medical professionals, family members, pastors or civil society organizations that support the fundamental rights of the country’s LGBT community.

A broad coalition of human rights leaders in Uganda came together to denounce the bill, insisting that it was a backward-looking attempt to divert attention away from growing civil unrest in the country, and from the alarming violence unleashed by the authorities in recent weeks to suppress peaceful protests.  Uganda’s own Human Rights Commission called the bill unconstitutional and inconsistent with the country’s human rights obligations.

The bill could be introduced in the next parliament, which convenes later this month.  And although never adopted, the debate around it has already created an atmosphere of extreme hostility and led to acts of targeted violence against LGBT citizens.  But for now, the brave civil society leaders who stood up to oppose the bill should take pride in their work to protect human rights for all Ugandans.  We are also grateful for the committed response of U.S. foreign policy leaders in the White House, the State Department and Congress who have engaged in a dialogue with Ugandan authorities for nearly two years to highlight the harms caused by this proposal.


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