Further U.S. Efforts to Protect Human Rights in Uganda

The U.S. government is taking a number of actions to underscore the critical importance placed on human rights and fighting against discrimination, protecting vulnerable populations, respecting freedom of expression and association, and advancing inclusive governance.

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2013 Human Rights Reports

The annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices continue to point to a range of serious human rights abuses directed at LGBT populations. You can view and download the section, by region, of the report that catalogues "Societal Abuses Discrimination, and Acts of Violence Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity"


White House on Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill

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.

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U.S. Secretary of State on the Enactment of Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill

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.

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The Council for Global Equality Welcomes the White House Efforts to Protect Human Rights in Uganda

the white house washingtonThe Council for Global Equality welcomes today’s White House announcement of new, concrete steps in our country’s bilateral relationship with Uganda in response to President Museveni’s decision to sign into law the Anti-Homosexuality Act earlier this year.  These steps reaffirm the importance the U.S. attaches to a foreign policy that prioritizes respect for the human rights of all people, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender – an important legacy of this Administration.

We take note in particular the announcement of new visa restrictions aimed at restricting entry to those deemed responsible for human rights abuses, including those enabled by this heinous law, and other corrupt practices.  In taking this action, the Administration has placed responsibility where it should lie – with those individuals who have enacted the new law, not the broader Ugandan people.  We urge that a speedy review of visa eligibility be the template for prospective U.S. responses whenever human rights are abridged, or corrupt practices undertaken, in any country.

The Administration’s new steps place appropriate emphasis on anti-LGBT police actions, our bilateral security relationship, and the broad areas in which the U.S. engages with Uganda on sound health policy.  We urge a continued dialogue in each of these areas aimed at ensuring the effective use of U.S. taxpayer funding in each of these areas, and particularly to ensuring that the health needs of men who have sex with men continue to be met.  We further urge that the Administration ensure that no organization charged with providing PEPFAR-funded services is allowed to take steps that deliberately undercut the effectiveness of those services, as was the case with actions taken by the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda in supporting enactment of the Anti-Homosexuality Act.

Finally, we note that Uganda is not the only government that has taken, in recent months, steps to further criminalize homosexual relations and relationships.  We have been proud to applaud the Administration’s policy of standing for LGBT human and civil rights abroad.  However, a global policy requires a globally consistent response, which to date has not been the case.  We ask that the Administration review, in equal measure, how to respond to similar anti-democratic actions in Nigeria, Russia, and other countries where government officials have put LGBT people at increased risk of abuse. 

For more information on the steps the White House is taking click here.

Statement by NSC Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden on the Response to Uganda’s Enactment of the Anti-Homosexuality Act

View Statements from our Organizational Council Members:

Human Rights Campaign: Obama Administration to Hold Ugandan Government Accountable for Anti-LGBT Laws

Human Rights First: White House Takes New Steps to Protect the Human Rights of Uganda’s LGBT Community


US Department of State LGBT Human Rights Fact Sheet

The United States Department of State recently released a fact sheet on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) human rights issues. The statement notes that "The U.S. Department of State has significantly expanded efforts to promote and protect the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons over the past year." The State Department has focused on five areas of engagement under the Presidential Memorandum on International Initiatives to Advance the Human Rights of LGBT Persons.

  • Combating Criminalization of LGBT Status or Conduct Abroad
  • Protecting Vulnerable LGBT Refugees and Asylum Seekers
  • Foreign Assistance to Protect Human Rights and Advance Nondiscrimination
  • U.S. Responses to Human Rights Abuses of LGBT Persons Abroad
  • Engaging International Organizations in the Fight Against LGBT Discrimination

Click here to learn more


International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

idahot-cge-hpThis past week we joined with the worldwide LGBT community in celebrating IDAHOT – the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Visit our blog for more information.

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Join Global Actions in Support of LGBT Human Rights

candle-bkThe release of the U.S. State Department's 2013 Human Rights Reports highlights continued human rights abuses directed at the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) populations around the globe. Here is a short list of ways that you can stay informed and lend your voice to the global LGBT community. More generally you can show your support by using the power of social media to send messages of support to those communities that are facing the harsh reality of discrimination.

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