The Ugandan bill that would sentence gays to prison is now sitting on President Yoweri Museveni’s desk awaiting his action. Since the bill’s passage, the State Department has issued a statement addressing its concern over the bill. And members of Congress have been vocal about their opposition to this bill and its attempt to place LGBT Ugandans deep in the closet. In the House of Representatives, Rep. Karen Bass, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and Rep. Eliot Engel quickly derided the Uganda law. In the Senate, Senators Durbin and Coons condemned the legislation.
HRC applauds these members of Congress and others who have publicly denounced this bill, and looks forward to working with Congress and the Obama Administration to ensure that it never becomes law.
The bill, which was passed on December 20, 2013, has been described by President Barack Obama as "odious." The bill would sentence men who are convicted of engaging in sexual relations with other men to a 14-year prison sentence, and a life imprisonment for committing aggravated homosexuality. National and international commendation was swift. HRC condemned the bill as soon as it passed, noting that Ugandan advocates decry that the bill was passed without any public notice and that questions remain as to whether a sufficient quorum was achieved to pass the bill.