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Kerry pressed to review U.S. aid to countries with anti-LGBT laws

Tuesday, March 18, 2014
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WASHINGTON — Members of the Congressional Black Caucus called on the Obama administration Tuesday to review all aid to countries with laws criminalizing homosexuality.

Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) is Chairperson of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) is Chairperson of the Congressional Black Caucus.

“Such laws not only violate human rights, they endanger lives and undermine public health efforts,” said 41 members of the caucus, in a letter to U. S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

The letter, while praising the administration’s efforts in response to a draconian law signed by Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, it urges the U.S. to reassess its relationships with all countries with similar anti-gay laws.

Lawmakers noted that Nigeria recently enacted legislation similar to Uganda, and that many other African nations have similar laws or are considering new or strengthened measures.

“Such laws not only violate human rights, they endanger lives and undermine public health efforts, most notably programs to address HIV/AIDS, which must be conducted in a non-discriminatory manner in order to be effective,” the letter states.

A senior source at the State Department acknowledged to LGBTQ Nation on Tuesday that administration officials are “reviewing” partnerships in Uganda, however the official declined to provide any details.

Congressional sources told LGBTQ Nation that the administration has left key questions about the review process and ongoing actions unanswered for both Houses of Congress as well.

In Tuesday’s letter, the CBC members asked Kerry to empower U.S. embassies to protect and assist “individuals endangered by anti-LGBT laws.”

The lawmakers expressed that they’d like to see the administration divert aid dollars away from any governments and non-governmental organizations that “support discriminatory laws.”

A copy of the letter is here.

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