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Four Senators Introduce Resolution Condeming Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill

Jim Burroway

February 4th, 2010

Four U.S. Senators — Russ Feingold (D-WI), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Susan Collins (R-ME) — have introduced a bipartisan resolution calling on the Ugandan Parliament to reject the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Sen. Coburn’s involvement is particularly notable and especially laudable given his membership in the Family and his otherwise unfriendly positions on LGBT issues. He also gave a convoluted condemnation of the proposed legislation last December. But still, a condemnation is a condemnation, and he’s following that with a co-sponsorship of this Senate resolution. It just goes to show that those who solidly oppose LGBT Americans can still recognize the grossest forms of injustice when they see it.

Of course, that observation doesn’t apply to everyone

RESOLUTION

Calling on members of the Parliament in Uganda to reject the proposed ‘‘Anti-Homosexuality Bill’’, and for other purposes.

Whereas a bill introduced on October 14, 2009, by a member of Parliament in Uganda would expand penalties for homosexuality to include the death penalty and requires citizens to report information about homosexuality to the police or face imprisonment;

Whereas many countries criminalize homosexuality, and in some countries, such as Iran, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan, the penalty for homosexuality includes the death penalty;

Whereas the United States, in seeking to promote the core American principles of equality and ‘‘Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness,’’ has long championed the universality of human rights;

Whereas religious leaders in the United States, along with representatives from the Vatican and the Anglican Church, have stated that laws criminalizing homosexuality are unjust; and

Whereas the people and Government of the United States recognize that such laws undermine our commitment to combating HIV/AIDS globally through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) by stigmatizing and criminalizing vulnerable communities: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate—

(1) calls on members of the Parliament in Uganda to reject the ‘‘Anti-Homosexuality Bill’’ recently proposed in that country;

(2) urges the governments of all countries to reject and repeal similar criminalization laws; and

(3) encourages the Secretary of State to closely monitor human rights abuses that occur because of sexual orientation and to encourage the repeal or reform of laws such as the proposed ‘‘Anti-Homosexuality Bill’’ in Uganda that permit such abuses.

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