Senate Passes Feingold Resolution Condemning Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill and Similar Efforts Worldwide

For Immediate Release

US Senator Russ Feingold
Contact: 

Zach Lowe (202) 224-8657

Senate Passes Feingold Resolution Condemning Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill and Similar Efforts Worldwide

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

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate has
unanimously passed a resolution introduced by U.S. Senators Russ
Feingold
(D-WI)
, Tom Coburn (R-OK), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and
Susan Collins (R-ME)
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
based on 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.  

"I
am glad that so many political, religious and civic leaders in Uganda
and
around the world have spoken out against this hateful and dangerous bill
before
the Ugandan Parliament.  Sadly, this legislation is just one example of
actions taken around the world to restrict the rights of people just
because of
their gender or sexual orientation.  We need to speak out consistently
against all such discrimination.  The Senate's passage of this
resolution begins to move us in that direction, and I will continue
working
with my colleagues and the administration to continue to address this
issue," said Feingold, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations
Subcommittee on African Affairs.

 

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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