Sunday, December 13, 2009

White House Condemns Antigay Uganda Bill

From The Advocate here.

In its strongest statement yet, the Obama Administration condemned a homophobic Ugandan bill that would carry a death sentence for acts of homosexuality in some cases.

“The President strongly opposes efforts, such as the draft law pending in Uganda, that would criminalize homosexuality and move against the tide of history,” read the White House statement that came late Friday in response to an inquiry from The Advocate.

The bill in question would extend the punishment for engaging in gay sex to life imprisonment and introduce the death penalty for those who do so repeatedly or while HIV-positive — acts termed "aggravated homosexuality” within the bill.

But according to reporting by Jim Burroway at Box Turtle Bulletin, the tide may be starting to turn on the bill. A senior advisor to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni penned an opinion piece Friday in the state-run newspaper that referred to the measure as "draconian" and concluded "...hunting down people for same-sex love, I believe to be a sin, against Love, one of God’s greatest gifts to mankind. (I say all this without being a homosexual.) Parliament should not pass this Bill."

The White House statement came on the heels of a week flooded with conservatives who took strong stands against the legislation. Obama supporter and Evangelical Pastor Rick Warren called on Ugandan religious leaders to stand against the measure.

"The freedom to make moral choices, and our right to free expression are gifts endowed by God. Uganda is a democratic country with a remarkable and wise people, and in a democracy everyone has a right to speak up. For these reasons, I urge you, the pastors of Uganda, to speak out against the proposed law," Warren said in video address. . . .

See here too ("Maddow Reviews Warren's Uganda Record").

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