WASHINGTON -- On the eve of an expected vote by Uganda’s Parliament on the notorious “Kill the Gays” bill, the State Department has issued a blistering rebuke of the bill that would criminalize homosexuality.
"No amendments, no changes, would justify the passage of this odious bill," State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters today. "Both (President Barack Obama) and (Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) publicly said it is inconsistent with universal human rights standards and obligations."
Toner said the State Department is joining Uganda's own human rights commissions in calling for the rejection of the bill proposed by David Bahati, a rabidly anti-gay member of Parliament who gets support from right-wing American missionaries and conservative political figures.
"We are following this legislative process very closely," Toner said. "Our embassy is closely monitoring the parliament's proceedings and we also are in close contact with Uganda's civil rights and civil society leaders, as well as members of the (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community there."
The European Union, the United Kingdom and much of the Western world have deplored the bill, first proposed in 2009, that would sentence people convicted of homosexual acts to life in prison or even death. More than 1 million people around the world have signed various petitions against the bill.