On Thursday January 21, 2010, the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission (TLHRC)? is holding a hearing to discuss the proposed Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The hearing will be from 2-3:30pm in Rayburn House Office Building and is open to the media and public. The TLHRC was established in 2008 “to promote and advocate in a non-partisan manner, both within and outside of Congress, internationally recognized Human Rights norms.” Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) , who co-authored a letter to the Secretary of State stating her opposition to the Bill in October 2009, will chair the hearing. For more information on the bill, check out these blog posts from December and January.
Call? your Congress person to show your opposition to the proposed anti-homosexuality legislation in Uganda and to encourage his/her support to ensure strong US government opposition to this? bill, which if passed would be devastating to health and human rights in Uganda.
- Call 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to your representative. If you don't know who your current representative is, find out here!
- Introduce yourself as a human rights advocate and a constituent of your Representative.
- Sample call script:
As a [health professional/medical student/concerned citizen], I recognize and respect the important connection between the protection of human rights and the promotion of health. Uganda's proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill of October 2009 is an offensive bill that violates an individual's rights to life, non-discrimination, expression, association, and a life free from harassment, and inhumane or degrading treatment. It will make it harder for doctors, nurses and medical professionals to provide confidential medical care to their clients, and will have a major negative impact on Uganda's fight against AIDS.On Thursday January 21, 2010, the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission (TLHRC)? is holding a hearing to discuss this bill–I hope staff from your office will attend. Can I count on Representative _____ to oppose Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill and publicly support US government action to prevent the Bill from being passed?
Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission (TLHRC) Hearing:
LGBT Community Under Attack:
Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill
Thursday, January 21, 2010
2:00 – 3:30 PM
Room 2171 Rayburn HOB
Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a hearing on the recent developments affecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Uganda. The hearing will be held on Thursday, January 21, from 2:00 – 3:30 PM in room 2255 Rayburn HOB. The hearing is open to the media and the public.
On October 14, 2009, an ‘Anti-Homosexuality Bill’ was introduced in Uganda’s parliament. The bill as drafted would increase the penalty for “same sex sexual acts” to life in prison, limit the distribution of information on HIV through a provision criminalizing the “promotion of homosexuality,” and establish the crime of “aggravated homosexuality” punishable by death for anyone in Uganda who is HIV positive and has consensual same-sex relations. Further, the bill includes a provision that could lead to the imprisonment for up to three years of anyone who fails to report within 24 hours the identities of everyone they know who is lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, or who supports human rights for people who are, to the government.
After an international outcry over the bill, including a strong response from the U.S. Department of State, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni stated in a speech on January 13, 2010, that the bill had become a ‘foreign policy issue’ and needed further consultation before being voted on in parliament.
To discuss these important issues, we will welcome as Commission witnesses:***I.? Panel:Representative, U.S. Department of State (invited)II.???? Panel:Julius Kaggwa, Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law, UgandaCary Alan Johnson, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights CommissionRev. Kapya Kaoma, Political Research AssociatesChristine Lubinski, HIV Medicine Association, Infectious Diseases Society of America*** Witness List subject to change.If you have any questions regarding this hearing, please call Hans Hogrefe (Rep. McGovern) at 202-225-3599.
James P. McGovern, M.C.