April 14, 2010 at 10:38 am EDT | by Chris Johnson
Senate passes resolution against anti-gay Uganda bill

Sen. Russ Feingold (photo courtesy senate.gov)

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.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • I wish our Senate was as interested in protecting American citizens in this country from discrimination as they seem to be about something they have no control over.

  • Good. BUT– with no mention of the EEEEEvil, anti-humans, evangelical christ-ian forces in THIS country that helped create the possible firestorm in THAT country? Which may still ignite? And is already spreading anyway?

    Look – either put out the fires (very costly and time-consuming) or else do the smart thing and GET RID OF THE OVERGROWN BUSH AND KINDLING LAYING AROUND THAT CATCHES FIRE IN THE FIRST PLACE! Because that is far less costly, and it takes care of the problem…… I don’t think the word “political” should be wedded to the word “leadership” anymore. It’s a new century. We need a New Agenda.

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