27 February 2014

Africa: Kerry Lambasts Anti-Gays Advocates Worldwide

Photo: Amy Fallon/IPS
Uganda’s inadequate road infrastructure has been blamed from the increased traffic congestion in the country, especially in the capital, Kampala

Anti-gay crackdowns around the world have been declared human rights violations by US Secretary of State John Kerry. He's singled out Uganda, comparing its criminalization to former Nazism and apartheid.

The US government on Thursday said it was launching a campaign against some 80 nations worldwide that have anti-gay laws. Secretary of State Kerry said Uganda's intention to jail homosexuals was "flat-out morally wrong."

On Monday, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed a bill into law that punishes gay sex with up to life imprisonment, outlaws the promotion of homosexuality and even requires people to denounce gays.

"What has happened in Uganda is atrocious, and it presents all of us with an enormous challenge, LGBT rights are human rights. It's that simple," Kerry told reporters in Washington.

LGBT is the acronym for lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender rights, which activists in Uganda had fought to safeguard.

"You could change the focus of this [Uganda's] legislation to black or Jewish and you could be in 1930s Germany or you could be in 1950s-1960s apartheid South Africa," Kerry said while drawing the comparison.

"It was wrong there egregiously in both places and it is wrong here," Kerry said, referring to the legislative crackdown in Uganda, which receives US funding for treatment of AIDS patients.

Kerry said the US would "wrestle" with anti-gay sentiment which was "bubbling up in various places around the world."

Homophobia 'global problem'

"It's not just an African problem. It's a global problem," he added.

His remarks precede Thursday's release of the US State Department's annual global human rights report.

Anti-gay bill vetoed in Arizona

In the US state of Arizona on Wednesday its governor Jan Brewer vetoed a controversial bill that had been derided by critics as a license to discriminate against gays.

Last week, Arizona's conservative Republican-controlled state assembly had passed the bill that would have allowed business proprietors to cite their religious beliefs as grounds to refuse to serve gay customers.

Brewer, speaking in the state capital Phoenix, said the bill would have resulted in "unintended and negative consequences."

Proponents of the bill had contended that it merely sought to clarify aspects of Arizona's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

ipj/ccp (AP, AFP, Reuters)

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2014 Deutsche Welle. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.

InFocus

World Bank, Donors Respond to Uganda Gay Law

Uganda’s inadequate road infrastructure has been blamed from the increased traffic congestion in the country, especially in the capital, Kampala

The World Bank is reportedly withholding a loan, while Norway, the Netherlands and Denmark are redirecting government aid to civil society and the private sector. Read more »