National Prayer Breakfast Draws Controversy

February 4, 2010

by Laurie Goodstein | New York Times

For more than 50 years, the National Prayer Breakfast has served as a prime networking event in Washington, bringing together the president, members of Congress, foreign diplomats and thousands of religious, business and military leaders for scrambled eggs and supplication.

Usually, the annual event passes with little notice. But this year, an ethics group in Washington has asked President Obama and Congressional leaders to stay away from the breakfast, on Thursday. Religious and gay rights groups have organized competing prayer events in 17 cities, and protesters are picketing in Washington and Boston.

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Obama Denounces Anti-Gay Bill in Uganda as ‘Odious’

February 4, 2010

from Agence France Presse

President Barack Obama on Thursday denounced as “odious” a proposed anti-gay law in Uganda that calls for the death penalty in cases of “aggravated homosexuality.”

“We may disagree about gay marriage, but surely we can agree that it is unconscionable to target gays and lesbians for who they are, whether it is here in the United States or… more extremely, in odious laws that are being proposed most recently in Uganda,” Obama said.

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U.S. Lawmakers Condemn Uganda Anti-Gay Bill

February 3, 2010

from Agence France Presse

US lawmakers introduced legislation Wednesday sharply condemning an anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda’s parliament, calling it an attack on human rights and an obstacle to battling HIV/AIDS.

“The proposed Ugandan bill not only threatens human rights, it also reverses so many of the gains that Uganda has made in the fight against HIV/AIDS,” said House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Howard Berman, a Democrat.

More than three dozen Representatives co-sponsored the legislation, but just one of them is a Republican, Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the party’s most senior member on Berman’s panel.

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Hearing on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill Today

January 21, 2010

from LGBT POV

The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission (TLHRC) is holding a hearing Thursday on the proposed “Anti Homosexuality Bill” now pending in the Ugandan Parliament.

The hearing will be held from 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. in the 2172 Rayburn House Office Building in Washington DC. Watch the live webcast here.

TLHRC Co-Chairman James P. McGovern (D-MA) and TLHRC Exec. Committee Member Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), as well as other Commission members, will hear testimony from Karl Wycoff, Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Department of State; Julius Kaggwa, Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law, Uganda; Cary Alan Johnson, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission; Rev. Kapya Kaoma, Political Research Associates and Christine Lubinski, HIV Medicine Association, Infectious Diseases Society of America, among others.

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UN Urges Uganda to Scrap Anti-Gay Bill

January 15, 2010

from Agence France Presse

UN rights chief Navi Pillay on Friday urged the Ugandan government to scrap an anti-homosexuality bill which is to be put before parliament, saying that it was “blatantly discriminatory.”

“The bill clearly breaches international human rights standards, as it is blatantly discriminatory,” said Pillay in a statement.

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Senator: Revoke Uganda’s Duty-Free Status

January 12, 2010

from The Advocate

Oregon senator Ron Wyden has a reality check for the Ugandan government.

The new chairman of the International Trade Subcommittee on the Senate Finance Committee asked U.S. trade representative Ron Kirk and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday to let Uganda know the country will lose its duty-free status if the proposed “kill the gays” bill passes.

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Jewish Group Creates Ugandan Fund

January 8, 2010

by Neal Broverman | The Advocate

The American Jewish World Service, an international development and human rights organization, announced Friday that it has established the Urgent LGBT Uganda Fund to support gay and lesbian grassroots groups in the African nation.

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