President Obama has issued a statement condemning the harsh anti-gay law in Uganda that President Musevini now says he will sign into law. There’s some inaccurate and self-serving nonsense at the beginning of this statement, but I like the rest of it:
As a country and a people, the United States has consistently stood for the protection of fundamental freedoms and universal human rights. We believe that people everywhere should be treated equally, with dignity and respect, and that they should have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential, no matter who they are or whom they love.
That is why I am so deeply disappointed that Uganda will shortly enact legislation that would criminalize homosexuality. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda, once law, will be more than an affront and a danger to the gay community in Uganda. It will be a step backward for all Ugandans and reflect poorly on Uganda’s commitment to protecting the human rights of its people. It also will mark a serious setback for all those around the world who share a commitment to freedom, justice and equal rights.
As we have conveyed to President Museveni, enacting this legislation will complicate our valued relationship with Uganda. At a time when, tragically, we are seeing an increase in reports of violence and harassment targeting members of the LGBT community from Russia to Nigeria, I salute all those in Uganda and around the world who remain committed to respecting the human rights and fundamental human dignity of all persons.
I don’t know how anyone could ever say that the United States has “consistently” stood for universal human rights with a straight face. But this bill IS a serious violation of human rights and deserves to be condemned by every decent person. Now watch the Christian right throw a fit over this statement, which will only provide more evidence for the conclusion that their claim not to be hateful bigots is a lie.