The U.S. Senate on Tuesday approved by unanimous consent a resolution condemning harshly anti-gay legislation pending in the Ugandan parliament.
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), chair of Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on african affairs, introduced the resolution in February. Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) were original co-sponsors.
Homosexual acts are already illegal in Uganda, but the African nation’s pending legislation would, among other things, institute the death penalty in some cases for LGBT people and require citizens to report LGBT people to the police.
In a statement, Feingold praised “so many political, religious and civic leaders in Uganda and around the world” for speaking out against the Uganda legislation.
“Sadly, this legislation is just one example of actions taken around the world to restrict the rights of people just because of their gender or sexual orientation,” he said. “We need to speak out consistently against all such discrimination. The Senate’s passage of this resolution begins to move us in that direction, and I will continue working with my colleagues and the administration to continue to address this issue.”
In addition the comdemnding the Uganda bill, the Senate resolution calls for repeal of the criminalization of homosexuality in other countries and urges the State Department to closely monitor human rights abuses against LGBT people abroad.
In the House, another resolution comdemning the Uganda legislation, introduced by Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), is pending before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The resolution has 58 co-sponsors.