Members of Congress Introduce Bipartisan Resolutions Opposing Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill
February 4, 2010
This week members of the House and Senate introduced bipartisan resolutions expressing the United States government’s “unequivocal” opposition to Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2009. The Senate Resolution, introduced by Sens. Russ Feingold, D-Wisc., Tom Coburn, R-Okla., Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, calls on members of the Uganda Parliament to reject the bill. Stressing the “universality of human rights” and the bill’s potential to undermine U.S. efforts to combat HIV/AIDS globally, the resolution also calls upon the Secretary of State to more closely monitor human rights abuses that are motivated by sexual orientation and to encourage the repeal or reform of similar laws around the world. In the House of Representatives, a bi-partisan resolution introduced by Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, was joined by more than three dozen other members of Congress, including Committee Ranking Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla. The resolution, which declares that, “all people possess an intrinsic human dignity, regardless of sexual orientation, and share fundamental human rights,” also focuses attention on the serious threat the bill poses to gains Uganda has made in its effort to combat HIV/AIDS. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill was introduced to Uganda’s parliament on October 13, 2009, where it remains pending. Ugandan legislators are expected to return from a legislative break in late February. Thanks to HRC Law Fellow Emilie Adams for her contributions to this post.