The President strongly opposes efforts, such as the draft law pending in Uganda, that would criminalize homosexuality and move against the tide of history.
As the Advocate’s Kerry Eleveld notes, this statement is the strongest yet issued by the Obama administration. On the eve of World AIDS Day, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “We have to stand against any efforts to marginalize and criminalize and penalize members of the LGBT community worldwide,” but didn’t directly name the Ugandan measure. Later in the week, the State Department issued “guidance” condemning the bill, and it had reportedly been raising the issue privately with Ugandan officials. As far back as October, a State Department spokesman had also said that the bill was “a significant step backwards for human rights in Uganda.”
Blogger-activist Mike Stark caught up with Republican Sens. John Ensign (NV), James Inhofe (OK), and Sam Brownback (KS), who have ties to The Family, which has influenced the Ugandan legislation. Ensign called the legislation “pretty outrageous” and said he would consider signing onto a potential congressional resolution denouncing it. Inhofe said he wasn’t familiar with the specific legislation but said that such a measure was wrong. Brownback refused to comment because he didn’t know the “specifics” of the bill.