HRC Blog

Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill Hits Potentially Terminal Road Block

According to the New York Times, the life of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill may have reached its end. A special committee organized by the president of Uganda has recommended that the bill be withdrawn from Parliament because “virtually all clauses in the legislation were either unconstitutional or redundant.” While the bill has not yet been formally withdrawn, we look forward to the day when it no longer looms in the Ugandan Parliament. Since introduction of the bill, HRC has worked with members of the Council for Global Equality (CGE) to educate our members, Congress and the Administration on the horrendous nature of the bill. HRC members have sent thousands of letters to Capitol Hill in order to bring attention to the dire situation in Uganda. A resolution condemning the bill was introduced in the House by Reps. Howard Berman (D-CA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). Senators Feingold (D-WI), Coburn (R-OK), Cardin (D-MD), and Collins (R-ME) introduced a resolution in the Senate that passed in the Senate on April 14, 2010. Moreover, the House held a hearing on the bill, which HRC submitted written testimony by HRC President Joe Solmonese. Additionally, the House and Senate have both included language in the Foreign Relations Authorization Act that would require the State Department to encourage countries to reform or repeal laws that criminalize homosexuality or consensual homosexual conduct. HRC supported and advocated for each of these Congressional actions because we believe our nation must show leadership in opposing discrimination wherever it may occur. In addition, over the last 8 months, HRC has joined with CGE partners in meetings with White House and State Department officials to discuss the Ugandan bill. The President and Secretary of State vocally opposed the Ugandan legislation, most notably at the National Prayer Breakfast. Furthermore, our Religion and Faith Program has worked in coalition with partners such as Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Truth Wins Out, Integrity, the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office and others to present The American Prayer Hour in February and vigils in Kansas City and Washington, D.C earlier this month. At the DC vigil, Harry Knox joined with fellow members of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force Bishops and Elders Council to speak out against the exportation of hate.

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