Bipartisan Senate Resolution Condemns Uganda Anti-Gay Legislation

by Laura Rozen | Politico

A broad-based Senate coalition including Senators Russell Feingold (D-WI), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Susan Collins (R-ME) have introduced a resolution condemning Uganda’s anti-homosexuality bill.

The bipartisan resolution urges Uganda’s parliament to reject an anti-homosexuality bill and urges all countries to reject and repeal laws criminalizing homosexuality.

The bill, introduced in Uganda’s parliament in October 2009,  would expand penalties including the death penalty for homosexuality. It would also require Ugandan citizens to report information about homosexuality to the police or face imprisonment, a press release from Feingold’s office says.

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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