White House Strongly Opposes Ugandan Anti-Gay Legislation

As you may recall, during her statements on World AIDS Day, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton obliquely condemned the proposed anti-gay legislation in Uganda that seeks to criminalize homosexuality and originally made it a crime punishable by death: "Obviously, our efforts [to address AIDS globally] are hampered whenever discrimination or marginalization of certain populations results in less effective outreach and treatment. So we will work not only to ensure access for all who need it but also to combat discrimination more broadly."

That was followed by a guidance from Clinton's State Department: "We are disturbed by violence, harassment, discrimination, exclusion, stigmatization and prejudice that are directed against persons in all countries in the world because of sexual orientation or gender identity. We condemn human rights violations based on sexual orientation or gender identity wherever they occur. We urge states to take all the necessary measures to ensure that sexual orientation or gender identity may under no circumstances be the basis for criminal penalties– in particular, execution arrest or detention. If adopted a bill further criminalizing homosexuality would constitute a significant step backwards for the protection of human rights in Uganda."

Finally, on Friday, in response to an inquiry from The Advocate, the White House issued its own statement: "The President strongly opposes efforts, such as the draft law pending in Uganda, that would criminalize homosexuality and move against the tide of history."

Good. And thank you, Madame Secretary, for leading the way.

I'd like to point out, btw, given the number of broken campaign promises about which we've had the occasion to groan lately, this situation has seen the keeping of one very important campaign promise: Clinton's promise to make global gay rights an active "part of American foreign policy." She's just doing it as Secretary of State, rather than president.

[Previously: Anti-Gay Legislation in Uganda, Anti-Gay Legislation in Uganda Sponsored by The Family, Quote of the Day, World AIDS Day, Uganda Drops Death Penalty, Life in Prison from Bill.]

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