Last edited: November 07, 2003

Gay Abuse in Uganda Gets U.S. Attention

Datalounge, July 10, 2001

WASHINGTON — A group of lawmakers in the U.S. House, led by Democratic Rep. Tom Lantos of California, tabled a motion for a House resolution in June condemning Uganda and other countries for violating the human rights of gay people, the All Africa news agency reports.

"I believe very strongly that we in the Congress must send a strong message that no matter what any of our colleagues’ views may be on the question of the lifestyles of gays, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people, they must be treated with dignity and respect, not with hatred and violence," Lantos said from the House floor.

House Dems attempt statement on Uganda.

Lantos, an 11-term Congressman, introduced his resolution titled ‘International Human Rights Equality Resolution’ number 173 to the U.S. House of Representatives on June 26. It was subsequently referred to the House committee on International Relations.

The resolution reads: "The protection of gender identity is not a special right or privilege, but it should be fully acknowledged in international human rights norms. I ask that my colleagues join me in wholeheartedly embracing and supporting basic human rights for all people, no matter what their sexual orientation might be. It is the only decent thing to do," Lantos said.

The resolution states that in Singapore and Uganda "the sentence for sexual conduct between same-sex consenting adults can extend to life in prison."

Congressional observers note that even if Republican Dennis Hastert of Illinois was inclined to allow the resolution to come to the floor for a vote, it is doubtful that it would garnish enough votes from the Republican majority to pass.

This resolution fails to mention the sodomy laws and lack of protections based on sexual orientation in the United States. Idaho has the same penalty for oral sex as Uganda.
-Bob Summersgill

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