Monday, January 25, 2010
Rep. Heinrich Signs Letters to Obama, Uganda President, Opposing LGBT Punishments
To be commended! Rep. Martin Heinrich joined ninety of his colleagues last week in signing letters to President Barack Obama and Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni regarding the deteriorating situation in Uganda for the LGBT community. The letters declare strong opposition to pending legislation in Uganda that would outlaw homosexuality and make any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex punishable by prison or even death.
The letter to President Obama (pdf) expresses serious concerns on the part of Rep. Heinrich and the others who signed it about the grave injustices occurring in Uganda and other countries that are taking steps to criminalize or otherwise severely discriminate against the LGBT communities. It declares that the discrimination is an international human rights issue to which the United States needs to respond strongly.
The letter to Ugandan President Museveni (pdf) urges him to use every means possible to convey to leaders in Parliament that this draconian legislation is reckless in both intent and potential impact, and should be withdrawn immediately.
The office of Rep. Ben Ray Luján sent me a statement on this issue saying that Rep. Luján believes that the proposed legislation in Uganda is unacceptable, and he encourages the President to speak out strongly against it. The United States should be a leader in promoting equality and the severity of this legislation requires a strong response from our country’s leadership.