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Immigration Equality to join congresswoman in protest of proposed Ugandan law

NEW YORK _ Immigration Equality executive director Rachel Tiven will join U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), this afternoon to demand a meeting with representatives of the Ugandan government over its proposed anti-gay legislation.

They will visit Uganda’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, to convey the depth and breadth of international opposition to a proposed measure in that country that would subject LGBT persons to criminal sanctions, including the death penalty.

Maloney – a staunch LGBT supporter and co-sponsor of the Uniting American Families Act – has invited human-rights advocates and members of the clergy to appear with her today to protest the proposed death penalty and other draconian criminal sanctions for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons in Uganda and to demand a meeting with Ugandan government officials.

Immigration Equality has represented countless individuals, including Ugandans, who have sought asylum in the U.S. because of severe anti-gay climates around the world.

In 2007, the group successfully represented a lesbian from Uganda whose family, upon learning of her sexual orientation, hired someone to rape her in her family home. The case – decided in a court right below the Supreme Court – recognized that lesbians can win asylum when they have faced violence by private actors – even their own family members. It was only the second published decision to affirm and establish a lesbian’s right to seek asylum – the first was argued by Immigration Equality founder Suzanne Goldberg.