on sunday president barack obama released a statement voicing his displeasure with the proposed anti-homosexuality bill in uganda. the bill seeks to punish same-sex relations with life imprisonment, and denies bail to those accused of "aggravated homosexuality."
obama wrote, "as a country and a people, the united states has consistently stood for the protection of fundamental freedoms and universal human rights. we believe the people everywhere should be treated equally, with dignity and respect, and that they should have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential, no matter who they are or whom they love."
"that is why i am so deeply disappointed that uganda will shortly enact legislation that would criminalize homosexuality. the anti-homosexuality bill in uganda, once law, will be more than an affront and a danger to the gay community in uganda. it will be a step backward for all ugandans and reflect poorly on uganda's commitment to protecting the human rights of its people. it also will mark a serious setback for all those around the world who share a commitment to freedom, justice and equal rights."
"as we have conveyed to president museveni, enacting this legislation will complicate our valued relationship with uganda. at a time when, tragically, we are seeing an increase in reports of violence and harassment targeting members of the lgbt community from russia to nigeria, i salute all those in uganda and around the world who remain committed to respecting the human rights and fundamental human dignity of all persons."
under existing colonial-era law in uganda, anyone found guilty of "carnal knowledge against the order of nature" can face sentences up to life imprisonment. this new bill expands penalties; it bans the promotion of homosexuality, makes it a crime punishable by prison not to report gay people to the authorities, and enables life sentences to be imposed for various same-sex acts, including touching in public.
uganda is one of 37 countries on the african continent where homosexuality is illegal. ugandan gay activists have accused some of their country's political and religious leaders of being influenced by american evangelicals. susan rice, the u.s. national security adviser, said on sunday on twiter she spoke "at length" with museveni on saturday night and urged him to not sign the bill. the u.s. is uganda's largest donor, sending more than $400 million in aid annually in recent years.
- mark j. tuggle
- harlem, usa
- same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. firstname.lastname@example.org.