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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

February 24, 2014 - 6:48 am

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on African Affairs said this morning that President Obama needs to avoid setting “a dangerous precedent for America’s foreign policy” by letting countries that pass anti-gay laws not face serious repercussions.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni today signed into law a bill that hands down a sentence of life in prison for many same-sex acts.

Originally dubbed the “kill the gays bill” for its death penalty provisions, the legislation was passed in the Ugandan parliament in December with the capital punishment reduced to life imprisonment.

Also receiving prison time under the bill would be those who don’t report gays to the government or any organizations or individuals that support gay rights. Ugandans can also be sentenced for attempted homosexual acts or same-sex activity committed outside the country.

“The rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons are universal human rights and deserve to be respected around the world,” Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said. “The shameful Anti-Homosexuality Bill that President Museveni signed into law today goes far beyond discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and makes homosexual conduct punishable with life in prison. It promotes a climate of oppression and fear, and is an unconscionable violation of fundamental freedoms and universal standards for human rights.”

“The enactment of this law is another sad chapter in a disturbing trend against personal freedom in Uganda, including crackdowns on independent media and political dissent. While I recognize and value Uganda’s leadership in promoting stability in the region, the United States must not stand by as democratic values and humanitarian principles are increasingly disregarded by Uganda’s political leadership. Promoting universal human rights, including freedom of speech, association, religion and press, must remain a fundamental component of our work as a nation,” he added.

National Security Advisor Susan Rice phoned Museveni last weekend to try to convince him not to sign the bill, and Obama warned in a special statement that “enacting this legislation will complicate our valued relationship with Uganda.”

Coons noted that two years ago Obama promised “that it would be the policy of the United States government to more closely tie our diplomatic and development efforts to human rights.”

“America’s foreign policy can and should be led by its values, including the protection of basic human rights regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity,” the senator said.

“This law is a setback for human rights around the world and will endanger Uganda’s relationship with the United States. There should be consequences for such action, not just in Uganda, but also in Nigeria, Russia, and anywhere else in the world where LGBT rights and other human rights are being legally restricted. America’s rhetoric must now be met with action. For there to be no diplomatic or developmental consequence for the enactment of these laws would be to set a dangerous precedent for America’s foreign policy.”

While signing the bill, Museveni called the international outcry “an attempt at social imperialism, to impose social values.”

“We’re sorry to see that you (the West) live the way you live but we keep quiet about it,” Museveni said.

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
So Senator Coons wants a double standard in our foreign policy? One policy for countries like Uganda, and another, different policy, for muslim countries that enact ant-gay laws.

Sure, why not, Senator? No one will notice.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Great so now we are going to nuke Uganda to make it safe for pederasty?
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
But that's different, dontcha know? Iran and Saudi Arabia are Muslim states and Muslims are our friends. Those nasty Ugandans are largely Christians and we all know how evil they are.

[I'm being sarcastic of course.]
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (15)
All Comments   (15)
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So Uganda, of all countries, is going to uphold traditional Judeo-Christian morality - and the Judeo-Christian world will condemn them. And people wonder why Islam is becoming popular.

But the Christian world has no problem with people killing Christians....
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is what happens when American social policy runs head on into liberal guilt based on our history "cultural imperialism." Sen. Coons isn't actually suggesting that we intervene in the internal matters of a foreign soverign state - A state that poses not the slightest security threat to the U.S.? How dare that he and the Obama administration suggest that our values be foisted on other nations with rich and noble histories of their own. How can they be so insensitive to the rich diversity of cultures, people and ideas found in our world? What a pity that Senator Coons and thos elike him are not sufficiently "evolved."
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
It will be interesting to see if the Uganda HIV rates drop!
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sen. Coons knows that Sharia Law condemns Homos to death, but he conveniently ignores all the executions in Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc. The only reason he is pointing to Uganda is racism. He believes that African Blacks don't have the "Gravitas" to judge what is right for their societies.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Gay-rights activists know about Uganda, Iran, etc. Nevertheless, the state they are most likely to hate is Israel.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
So, the natives are restless in darkest Africa and need civilizing in the great white ways of the Peace Corp and Chris Mathews. Didn't the president say something about all cultures were exceptional, deserving of respect? Apparently it's not settle social science in Uganda that there are 56 different but universal gender identities that exist in the world. The congressman better check in with the president though, 'cause peace is at hand and the Pentagon is being budgeted back to pre 1939 levels when it was called the Department of War. In the bomb or not to bomb debate, butter has won out over the bomb and there's no money for promoting Peace Corp tea bagging training in Uganda.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
So Senator Coons wants a double standard in our foreign policy? One policy for countries like Uganda, and another, different policy, for muslim countries that enact ant-gay laws.

Sure, why not, Senator? No one will notice.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Great so now we are going to nuke Uganda to make it safe for pederasty?
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
So I guess we are to have selective outrage? We want to condemn Uganda, which has no real impact on the US from a military or economic standpoint. However, we will turn a blind eye when it is a country that serves our needs. Last time I checked, they have pretty much the same policy in countries like Saudi Arabia and most other Muslim countries. But we need their oil, since the current regime won't allow us to be energy independent, so we say nothing. Besides, Obama wouldn't dare anger his Muslim friends. We don't want to upset the religion of peace.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'll say it again. The PC brainwashing of the media is nearly complete. In truth most boxing matches are same-sex events. Every NFL game involves numerous same-sex acts. Every game in every World Chess Championship has been a same-sex act. Please. Say what you mean without the Left's PC jargon.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
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