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Posts Tagged ‘anti-gay legislation’

Once again, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has spoken out against unfair, in this case abusive and even fatal,   proposed legislation against the LGBT community, and this time, in her capacity as our top diplomat, her position has international implications.  Back in June,  Secretary Clinton announced that,  having been asked at the beginning of her service at State to consider offering benefits to domestic partners of State Department employees,  she had set forth the assessment she had promised in February and had found that this was indeed doable and would be implemented.   At this announcement,  members of the LGBT community rejoiced.

Well there is nothing to rejoice about, during this Christmas Season, regarding the proposed anti-gay legislation (backed by certain neo-con elements in the U.S.) in Uganda which,  today we have learned, has arrived one step closer to ratification.  In a washingtonpost.com article today,   Ugandan government backs anti-gay legislation,  we learn that the government is backing this law to Secretary Clinton’s consternation.

By Barney Jopson Saturday, December 19, 2009
KAMPALA — The Ugandan government is backing an anti-homosexuality bill that would introduce some of the world’s toughest punishments for gays, with a minimum life sentence for anyone convicted of having gay sex and a mandatory death penalty if the person is HIV-positive.

Further,

The bill would also introduce a three-year prison sentence for anyone who was aware of homosexual activity and failed to report it to the authorities within 24 hours. Its proponents said the proposed law reflected the will of Uganda’s people. In this conservative, predominantly Christian country, many people consider homosexuality an immoral habit that can be “cured.”

(Seriously!  Can you imagine this?  It is outrageous!)

In the face of this impending legislation, WaPo offers Secretary Clinton’s reaction.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called it “a very serious potential violation of human rights.” Britain and Canada have expressed strong concerns, and Sweden has threatened to cut off aid to Uganda.

READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE…

The legislation itself brings to mind  mass imprisonments and exterminations of the past.  I am certain readers here can find parallels in history.

On mainstream media, as far as I know, only Rachel Maddow has been doggedly following this story.  Others do not even seem to have it on a back burner.  But the LGBT community has a vital duty to be aware of who is for and who is against it.  Hillary Clinton again comes through as a fighter for the human rights of the LGBT populace.   Just sayin’.  (Now you KNEW I wasn’t going to end this without a picture of the Homegirl Superior.)

**UPDATE** I just ran across another article in Metro Weekly that expands on this issue.  The excerpts from her speech are too impressive to ignore, so I am adding it to this post.  Hillary Clinton: Persecution of gays in countries like Iran, Uganda are at top of Human Rights list

I urge you to go to the link above.  It is not long, but it is a very powerful argument for why the LGBT community should pay close attention to Hillary Clinton.  She is a powerful advocate.

And then the example that I used about a piece of legislation in Uganda which would not only criminalize homosexuality but attach the death penalty to it. We have expressed our concerns directly, indirectly, and we will continue to do so. The bill has not gone through the Ugandan legislature but has a lot of public support by various groups including religious leaders in Uganda. And we view it as a very serious potential violation of human rights.

So, it is clear that across the world this is a new frontier in the minds of many people about how we protect the LGBT community. But it is at the top of our list because we see many instances where we see there’s a very serious assault on the physical safety, and an increasing effort to marginalize people. And we think it’s important for the United States to stand against that and enlist others to join us in doing so.”

If you would like to see the complete video or read the transcript of the entire Human Rights speech she gave at Georgetown University last Monday, I have posted them at my other blog. You can find them here: Still4Hill.

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