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Kerry: ‘A tragic day for Uganda, all who care about the cause of human rights’

Monday, February 24, 2014

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secreatry of State John Kerry and the White House issued statements Monday denouncing Uganda president Yoweri Museveni’s signing of a controversial anti-gay bill that calls for harsh penalties, including 14 years in jail for first-time offenders, and life imprisonment as the maximum penalty for, among other offenses, homosexual behavior.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry

Statement by John Kerry, via the State Department:

This is a tragic day for Uganda and for all who care about the cause of human rights. Ultimately, the only answer is repeal of this law.

The United States is deeply disappointed in the enactment of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda. For the four years since the bill was introduced, we have been crystal clear that it blatantly violates human rights obligations that Uganda’s Human Rights Commission itself has recognized are enshrined in Uganda’s Constitution

Today’s signing threatens a dangerous slide backward in Uganda’s commitment to protecting the human rights of its people and a serious threat to the LGBT community in Uganda.

We are also deeply concerned about the law’s potential to set back public health efforts in Uganda, including those to address HIV/AIDS, which must be conducted in a non-discriminatory manner in order to be effective.

As President Obama stated, this legislation is not just morally wrong, it complicates a valued relationship. Now that this law has been enacted, we are beginning an internal review of our relationship with the Government of Uganda to ensure that all dimensions of our engagement, including assistance programs, uphold our anti-discrimination policies and principles and reflect our values.

From Nigeria to Russia and Uganda, we are working globally to promote and protect the human rights of all persons. The United States will continue to stand against any efforts to marginalize, criminalize, and penalize vulnerable persons in any society.

Statement by the White House Press Secretary:

Instead of standing on the side of freedom, justice, and equal rights for its people, today, regrettably, Ugandan President Museveni took Uganda a step backward by signing into law legislation criminalizing homosexuality.

As President Obama has said, this law is more than an affront and a danger to the gay community in Uganda, it reflects poorly on the country’s commitment to protecting the human rights of its people and will undermine public health, including efforts to fight HIV/AIDS. We will continue to urge the Ugandan government to repeal this abhorrent law and to advocate for the protection of the universal human rights of LGBT persons in Uganda and around the world.

President Barack Obama has not yet made a public statement on the signing, but said last week that the measure would “complicate” U.S. relations with Uganda, and called it “a step backward for Ugandans.”

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37 more reader comments:

  1. Oh lordy comments before the haters come in to spam with their righteous hate directed from their imaginary friend in the sky….lets see how long this last

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 6:48pm
  2. Very true... shame on Uganda though.

    Replied on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 6:50pm
  3. So sad, legalized bigotry

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 6:54pm
  4. they are trying to do the same thing here in many states.

    Replied on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 7:06pm
  5. Life in prison is worse than bigotry, it’s torture.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 6:55pm
  6. Seems their bent on going back to the dark ages.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 6:55pm
  7. Egon died…..today sucks.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 6:56pm
  8. What about Arizona?

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 6:56pm
  9. So what are you gonna do about it?

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 6:58pm
  10. Cut ALL ties with this backwards, third world piece of shit country.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 7:00pm
  11. LMAO @ Imaginary Friend in the sky.. are we talking God or Aliens.. OH WAIT silly me they are the same… lol! Anyhow.. this whole thing is Sad & Horrible, Arizona included.. there will always be haters, we just cant become them.. I would much rather be hanging with the aliens then these fools who run crap down here…

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 7:01pm
  12. Let’s not forget the evangelicals responsible, such as Scott Lively!

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 7:02pm
  13. why hasn’t he spoke out against Arizona , no difference .

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 7:02pm
  14. While I agree that the issue in AZ is certainly turning very badly and fits into Kerry's quote very well, we cannot compare the "right" to turn away LGBT people from business that look down on us to the active incarceration and downright violent hatred of people who are even suspected of being gay/LGBT. Both issues are of huge importance, but they're quite different and one has a far more negative effect on people's lives than the other :/

    Replied on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 8:21pm
  15. Don’t get me wrong, I am totally in agreement with the rhetoric coming from the President of The USA and others BUT to release this statement without one mention of the fact that on the same day Uganda took a step back into the Middle Ages , The State Of Arizona has decided it’s perfectly legitimate to discriminate against the LGBT community there IS JUST DUMBFOUNDING!

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 7:03pm
  16. Cut from the same cloth.

    Replied on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 7:14pm
  17. There is a major difference, though. Were the bill to be signed by the Arizona governor, it would be challenged in a federal court and overturned, ending the argument. On the other hand; Museveni's signing of their bill will give carte blanche to a population that is largely uneducated in the outlying areas, filled with native superstitions and indoctrinated by the church. In their minds, it will be tacit permission to begin wholesale extermination of gays. To compare one, which is merely a short court battle to defeat, to the other which will result in a large loss of life, is a bad exercise in rhetoric.

    Replied on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 8:49pm
  18. So do something about it. Talk is cheap.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 7:06pm
  19. The sad thing, is that it’s still perfectly legal to breed dumbasses in America. The same dumbasses who serve as ambassadors of bigotry to other countries.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 7:06pm
  20. como así? les cobran por ser de otra preferencia o como así no entendi

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 7:17pm
  21. Our country is a tad hypocritical to shame on anyone when we are yet to be fully equal on LGBT rights. :( Boo on Uganda…and boo on the USA that has yet to equalize human rights all the way…

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 7:19pm
  22. Boo on the politicians in both and all other countries who are trying to suppress human rights, not on the entire countries.

    Replied on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 8:27pm
  23. Feel sad about Uganda but hell I live in Arizona! Let’s all call Governor Brewer–602_542-4331!!!!

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 7:26pm
  24. No one in Uganda cared about this stuff until the American Evangelicals started poisoning their months. Just like they did in Russia. Assholes!

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 7:39pm
  25. Not only that - it was Christianity that played a huge role in turning the public opinion of many African communities from relative indifference to the outright shaming and hatred throughout history.

    Replied on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 8:23pm
  26. Shut up Kerry…..you need a face lift… don’t try to care about us NOW!!!!

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 7:41pm
  27. Or maybe Uganda found out that we Gays love the Democrats in Congress because they’ve allowed us to sell Crystal Meth, Heroin and Assault weapons at the Desert AIDS Project housing complex in Palm Springs California these last 7 years with proceeds going to Hillary Clintons Presidential election campaign… And don’t want that sort of politics taught to the next generations there…

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 7:41pm
  28. I agree, this day will go down in history as Uganda’s political structure decision that sent them back two centuries in their humanity and political representation to a country that governs beautiful loving people

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 7:43pm
  29. A special Thank you going out to Eric Holder for supplying the 2,000 assault weapons to the Mexican drug cartel so we Gay men can continue to get our Crystal Meth. You are a true LGBT American. Who cares that 70,000 Mexican civilians and a US border patrol agent died from the use of those weapons we Palm Springs Gays got what we wanted and that is all that counts. Now lets force this behavior on Uganda, Gambia, Nigeria, Syria and Russia. ONE LOVE!

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 7:46pm
  30. Not to mention ARIZONA

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 7:46pm
  31. omg people… The bill in Arizona has not been signed into law. And most likely won’t be… The bill in Uganda has been signed by president Museveni…

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 8:06pm
  32. So true, great to hear leaders from forward thinking countries speaking out!

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 8:14pm
  33. Sorry, but it was people from a "forward thinking" country who went to Uganda and preached against homosexuality in the first place. Instead of blaming an entire country, please consider this and the fact that there are plenty of people in Uganda who are trying to resist these laws because they are far more forward thinking than you seem to think they are.

    Replied on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 8:26pm
  34. It also is a good idea to make sure that your church or other organization is not sending financial aid to Uganda.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 8:19pm
  35. although its true uganda is the new nazi fun house we cannot point a finger when we have not yet cleaned up our own backyard peoplke are getting killed here as well and beatings continue we allow establishments like the westboro baptist church to spread its heatred unchecked we have states attempting to bring into law contemptuous laws. and before we can expect other countries to change we have to change first.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 8:27pm
  36. Can this issue be brought before the ICJ as possible state sanctioned persecution of a minority group. Geneva conventions.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 8:42pm
  37. Alejandro, I completely agree, I should rephrase that to; “forward thinking leaders”.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 8:45pm