Citibank is one of the largest businesses and employers in Uganda, but the company refuses to take a position against the proposed “Kill The Gays” bill. Over 500,000 have petitioned the company, as well as Barclays, to come out against the odious proposal if only to protect its employees and customers in the country. Citibank responded to the petition today, but only reiterated its nondiscrimination policy:
While the laws and cultural norms in some countries where Citi operates differ from commonly accepted global standards for human rights, Citi supports equality without regard for, among other personal characteristics, race, gender, gender identity or expression, disability, age, nationality, or sexual orientation.
“Supporting equality” is a particularly weak statement in response to a bill that would blatantly persecute gay people and their allies with life sentences in prison or the death penalty. Barclays at least took the added step of acknowledging the bill and its opposition:
Barclays has a strong history of supporting all aspects of diversity, both in the workplace and in wider society. Equally, we are proud of playing our part in the development of economies across Africa, and the key role Barclays plays in the lives of millions of our African customers. Barclays is aware of the proposed legislation relating to homosexuality in Uganda and we are engaging at appropriate levels of the Ugandan Government to express our views.
Sign the Change.org petition to encourage these banking giants to use their significant corporate influence to protect the lives of LGBT citizens.