Senate Foreign Relations Committee Approves Resolution Opposing Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 200
April 13, 2010 by Ty Cobb, Director of Global Engagement
Today, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed a senate resolution (S. Res. 409) by voice vote that calls on members of the Parliament in Uganda to reject the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2009. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2009 would make homosexuality in Uganda punishable by life imprisonment or even death. The bill was introduced in Uganda’s parliament on October 13, 2009, where it remains pending. The Senate Resolution, introduced by Sens. Russ Feingold, D-Wisc., Tom Coburn, R-Okla., Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, expresses the United States government’s “unequivocal” opposition to the proposed Ugandan bill. Stressing the “universality of human rights” and the bill’s potential to undermine U.S. efforts to combat HIV/AIDS globally, the resolution 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. Next, the resolution will need approval by the full Senate. A similar resolution is pending in the House of Representatives (H. Res. 1064). The House Resolution was introduced by Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and 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. 4/14/2010 UPDATE: late last night, the resolution was passed by the full Senate without amendment by unanimous consent!