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LGBT Uganda Letter to Clinton 10.30.09

LGBT Uganda Letter to Clinton 10.30.09

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Published by: srothaus on Oct 30, 2009
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October
30,2009
TheHonorable
Hillary
Rodham
Clinton
Secretary
of
State
U.S.Department
of
State
2201
C
Street
NW
Washington,
D.C.
20520Dear
Madam
Secretary:
We
write
to
raise serious
concernsabout
the
"Anti-Homosexual
Bill"
introduced
in
Uganda's
parliament
earlier
this
month.
This
egregious
bill
represents one
of
themostextreme
anti-equality
measures ever
proposed
in
any
country
and
would
create
a
legalpretext
for
depriving
lesbian,gay,bisexual,
and
transgender
(LGBT)
Ugandans
of theirliberty,
and even
their
lives.
Particularly
given
the
United
States' substantial
contributionto
Uganda
through
thePresident'sEmergency Plan
for
AIDS Relief
(PEPFAR),
we
believe
swift
actionis
necessary
to
ensure
Ugandan
leaders
understandthis
bill
is
wholly
unacceptable
and
antithetical to
democratic
values.
Asyou
may
know,
the
"Anti-Homosexual
Bill"
would
increase
thepenalty
for
"same
sex
sexualacts"
to
life
inprison,
limit
the
distributionof information
on
HIV
through
a
provision
criminalizing
the
"promotion ofhomosexuality,"
and
establish the
crime
of
"aggravated
homosexuality"
punishable
by
death
for
anyone
in
Uganda
who
is
HIV-
positive
andhas consensualsame-sex
relations.
Further, the
bill
includes
a
provision
that
could
lead
to
the
imprisonmentfor
up
to
three
years
of
anyone
whofailsto
report
within
24hours the
identitiesof
everyone they
know who
is lesbian,gay,bisexual, ortransgender,or
who
supportshuman
rights for
people
who
are,
to thegovernment.Lastyear,
PEPFAR
spending
in
Ugandaamounted
to
almost$300
million,
representing
approximately
2.60/o
of
the
total
Ugandan
economy.According
to
these estimates, the
U.S.
spends
approximately
$12dollarsper person
in
Uganda
through
PEPFAR.
Dr.Eric
Goosby,Ambassador
atLarge
and
Global
AIDS
Coordinator,
has made
it
clear
that
he
believes
effortsto
combat
discrimination
against
LGBT
individuals
are an
importantpartofPEPFAR's
mission
to
combat
global
HIV/AIDS.
During his
Senate
confirmation
hearing
in
June,
Dr.
Goosby
stated,
"if
confirmed,
I
look forward to
working withfield
andheadquarters
staff,
Congressand
others
in
the
Administrationto
ensure
that
PEPFAReffectively
targets
the most
at-risk
and
vulnerablepopulations
-including
LGBT
populations
-
with culturally
appropriateprevention,
care and
treatment
interventions."
The
"Anti-Homosexual
Bill"
would clearly
impede
Dr.
Goosby
and
PEPFAR's
goals
by
seriously
compromisingeffonsto
reach
LGBT
communitiesin Uganda.
We believe
it
would
undermine thesubstantial U.S.
contribution to
Uganda
through
PEPFAR
andraiseserious
questionsaboutthe effectiveness
ofthis
globalhealthinvestment.
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