U.S. must push for full withdrawal of Uganda's barbaric 'Anti-Homosexuality Bill'

January 14, 2010

Inga Sarda-Sorensen
Director of Communications
(Office) 646.358.1463
(Cell) 202.641.5592

WASHINGTON, Jan. 14 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force calls on the Obama administration and Congress to press for the full withdrawal of Uganda's proposed "Anti-Homosexuality Bill," which would make homosexuality punishable by life imprisonment or even death.

President Yoweri Museveni reportedly said this week that more consultation is needed on the bill because it has caused such an international uproar. According to media reports, Museveni has hinted that the death penalty component could be dropped due to the widespread condemnation, saying, "It's a foreign policy issue, and we must handle it in a way that does not compromise our principles but also takes into account our foreign policy interests."

The United States provides millions of dollars in assistance to Uganda, and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has contacted Museveni to express concerns about the proposed law. U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), meanwhile, will chair a hearing on the Uganda bill next week, under the auspices of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.

Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

"It is imperative that the Obama administration and Congress push Uganda to withdraw this bill in its entirety. Simply removing the death penalty doesn't somehow make this a humane bill. Whether it be the state-sponsored murder of LGBT Ugandans or their life imprisonment for simply being who they are is barbaric and unacceptable. Our political leaders must send the unified and unequivocal message that this measure, in full, needs to go. We thank Rep. Tammy Baldwin and the commission for scheduling next week's hearing to further shed light on this abhorrent bill."

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.