Friday, December 11, 2009

Death Penalty for Gays? Uganda Debates Proposal

Subject: Re: Death Penalty for Gays? Uganda Debates Proposal

Dear all,

I have been working on this issue for the past few months through my workwith the Council for Global Equality and quite honestly, I think the Obamaadministration is doing what it should be doing on this in terms of ourbehind-the-scenes diplomatic relations with Uganda. But the public pressureis critical to keep up. Rachel Maddow's "Uganda Be Kidding Me" for the pasttwo weeks has been fantastic in mobilizing public pressure on the rightwingers -- both political and religious -- many of whom have now come ourpublicly against the bill -- Pitts, even Tom Coburn today made a publicstatement. On on the religious end -- you've got to see this from RickWarren:

And the Holy See today reiterated their position to decriminalizehomosexuality at a side-event that the Swedish government sponsored at theUN just a few hours ago. So some little positive steps are coming out ofthis atrocious bill. But watch Rwanda will be next -- and we already lostBurundi earlier this year where they put in their first law evercriminalizing gay sex.For those of you particularly interested in this. I attach the actual"Anti-Homosexuality Bill" to read (you'll think it's a joke - but it's forreal) and the state department's response to request from Congress can befound on our website

I personally don't believe that de-funding Uganda is quite right from theUnited States -- although it is from some other countries. Our money therehelps fight corruption, provides life-saving treatment for HIV+ people, andmonitors the border with Sudan where we have another atrocity of a differenttype. We can't pull our funding. But calling for the U.S. to pull money fromUganda can possibly help keep the pressure on.I'd be curious to hear anyone else's ideas for additional levers to pull onthis one.

Julie Dorf

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