Feingold, Coburn, Cardin, Collins Introduce Resolution Condemning Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill and Similar Efforts Worldwide

For Immediate Release

US Senators
Contact: 

Zach Lowe (Feingold) - (202) 224-8657
John Hart (Coburn) - (202) 224-5754
Sue Walitsky (Cardin) - (202) - 224-4524
Kevin Kelley (Collins) - (202) 224-2523

Feingold, Coburn, Cardin, Collins Introduce Resolution Condemning Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill and Similar Efforts Worldwide

Bipartisan Resolution Urges All Countries to Reject and Repeal Laws Criminalizing Homosexuality

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Russ Feingold (D-WI), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Ben Cardin
(D-MD) and Susan Collins (R-ME) have introduced a resolution calling on members
of the Ugandan Parliament to reject the so-called "Anti-Homosexuality
Bill." The bill, which was introduced in the Ugandan parliament in
October 2009, would expand penalties for homosexuality in Uganda to include the
death penalty, and require citizens to report information about homosexuality
to the police or face imprisonment.  In addition to condemning the
proposed legislation in Uganda, the bipartisan resolution also urges all
countries around the world to reject and repeal similar laws that criminalize
homosexuality, and encourages the United States Department of State to closely
monitor human rights abuses that occur because of sexual orientation.  In
addition to the proposed bill in Uganda, there are laws on the books in nations
around the world criminalizing homosexuality.  In several countries
including Iran, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Sudan, the penalty for homosexuality
includes the death penalty. 

The
resolution reads:

 

RESOLUTION

Calling on members of the Parliament in
Uganda to reject the proposed ‘‘Anti-Homosexuality
Bill'', and for other purposes.

Whereas a bill introduced on October 14,
2009, by a member of Parliament in Uganda would expand penalties for
homosexuality to include the death penalty and requires citizens to report
information about homosexuality to the police or face imprisonment;

Whereas many countries criminalize
homosexuality, and in some countries, such as Iran, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and
Sudan, the penalty for homosexuality includes the death penalty;

Whereas the United States, in seeking to
promote the core American principles of equality and ‘‘Life,
Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness,'' has long championed the
universality

of human rights;

Whereas religious leaders in the United
States, along with representatives from the Vatican and the Anglican Church,
have stated that laws criminalizing homosexuality are unjust; and

Whereas the people and Government of the
United States recognize that such laws undermine our commitment to combating
HIV/AIDS globally through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief
(PEPFAR) by stigmatizing and criminalizing vulnerable communities: Now, therefore,
be it

Resolved, That the
Senate-

(1) calls on members of the Parliament
in Uganda to reject the ‘‘Anti-Homosexuality Bill''
recently proposed in that country;

(2) urges the governments of all
countries to reject and repeal similar criminalization laws; and

(3) encourages the Secretary of State to
closely monitor human rights abuses that occur because of sexual orientation
and to encourage the repeal or reform of laws such as the proposed
‘‘Anti-Homosexuality Bill'' in Uganda that permit such
abuses.

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