FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, December 20, 2013
CONTACT: Ian Koski at 202-224-5042
Senators Coons, Durbin condemn passage of anti-LGBT legislation in Uganda
Measure would make “aggravated homosexuality” punishable with life in prison
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs, and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Assistant Majority Leader and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs, issued the following statement Friday after the Ugandan parliament approved legislation to make homosexual acts punishable with life imprisonment.
"No individual should be imprisoned simply on the basis of his or her race, religion or sexual orientation. We are deeply concerned that the Ugandan parliament has passed legislation that would place LGBT individuals at risk of life imprisonment. By criminalizing the 'promotion' of homosexuality and failure to report such activities to the police, the bill would also further open the door to additional harassment and the arrest of human-rights defenders. If signed into law, this legislation would add to a disturbing trend in Uganda of closing space for free expression and restricting dissent. We understand there are still steps President Museveni could take to try to prevent the law from taking effect, and we stand firmly with those urging him to reject this law.“