Posts Tagged 'State Dept'

Rachel Maddow exposes the stereotypes and prejudice that animate David Bahati

Rachel Maddow, MSNBC

The Council was pleased to see Rachel Maddow expose the stereotypes and prejudice that animate David Bahati, the parliamentarian who authored the “anti-homosexuality” bill in Uganda, on her show this evening.  Mr. Bahati claims his bill will protect children and families of Uganda.  To the contrary, it criminalizes LGBT individuals and families, and in the words of President Obama, it is simply “odious.”

Mr. Bahati this evening suggested that the parliament could pass the bill without a death penalty provision, but life in prison is hardly a compromise.  LGBT relations and relationships must never be criminalized, nor should the work of human rights advocates who defend LGBT rights or public health officials who reach out to vulnerable individuals who are most at risk of HIV infection.   In the words of Secretary Clinton, “gay rights are human rights,” in the United States, Africa and everywhere else.

We are pleased that the State Department showed good judgment in granting Mr. Bahati a very limited, single-entry visa.  It was issued for the sole purpose of Bahati’s request to attend a public financial management conference in Washington this week.  We note that Mr. Bahati abused that privilege and has instead used his visit to the United States to promote his assault on Uganda’s LGBT community through appearances on the Rachel Maddow show and in other U.S. media outlets.  We hope the U.S. embassy will take note of his true agenda in the United States, which appears incompatible with his visa request, and that officials will weigh his record of deceit against any future request by him for another U.S. visa.

UNHCR Roundtable on Asylum-Seekers and Refugees Seeking Protection on Account of Their Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Special Assistant Elizabeth Drew, U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
Washington, DC, October 1, 2010

Thank you. It’s an honor to be here, participating in such a dynamic discussion on this critical issue. I also want to recognize the leadership of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for hosting this roundtable and commend the Agency’s ongoing efforts to enhance protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) refugees and asylum seekers.

The Obama Administration has made clear that our comprehensive human rights agenda includes the elimination of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The U.S. recently joined the United Nations General Assembly core group on LGBT issues, and earlier this month the U.S. co-sponsored the high-level LGBT panel at the UN Human Rights Council. We’re very fortunate to have Secretary Clinton leading the Department of State in elevating our human rights dialogues with foreign governments and advancing public diplomacy to protect the rights of LGBT individuals. We are also leading by example, extending benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees, making it easier for transgender Americans to amend their passports, and including gender identity along with sexual orientation in the State Department Equal Employee Opportunity Statement. Continue reading on state.gov

Read more: UNHCR urges tolerance of displaced people persecuted for their sexuality


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