WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke out against the pending anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda at the 58th National Prayer Breakfast, attended by every president since President Eisenhower.
During his address, President Obama stated that it is unconscionable to target lesbians and gays for who they are.
“We may disagree about gay marriage, but surely we can agree that it is unconscionable to target gays and lesbians for who they are – whether it’s here in the United States or, as Hillary mentioned, more extremely in odious laws that are being proposed most recently in Uganda,” Obama said.
Secretary Clinton stated that she has spoken to President Musseveni of Uganda about the despicable nature of the proposed “death to gays” legislation. She told breakfast attendees that the state department will continue to address international human rights violations of lesbians and gays.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, a host of the National Prayer Breakfast, The Family, finances and gives technical support and training to political and faith leaders around the globe with a goal of spreading an anti-LGBT message worldwide. Work of The Family is directly tied to the draconian anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda.
The proposed bill aims to imprison, hunt down and even execute gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. The sponsor of the Ugandan bill, David Bahati, has previously attended the National Prayer Breakfast and was once again invited this year, however, he did not attend. Bahati is a member of The Family.
“We applaud President Obama for having the courage to confront those responsible for the heinous anti-gay bill in Uganda,” said Wayne Besen, executive director of Truth Wins Out. “We hope that the President’s laudable stand makes it clear to The Family members in the United States and Uganda that the world is watching. Religion can no longer be used to justify bigotry, intolerance and persecution anywhere on the face of the earth.”
Besen is the coordinator of The American Prayer Hour, which is an alternative to the National Prayer Breakfast. Fifteen national organizations launched the American Prayer Hour to shine a spotlight on The Family’s nefarious role in Uganda on the week of their annual National Prayer Breakfast. There are American Prayer Hour events in 20 cities across the nation.
“The safe course would have been for President Obama to remain silent,” said TWO’s Besen. “Instead, he walked into The Family’s house and held them accountable for their actions in Uganda. It was a huge victory for human rights and the president’s actions were courageous and honorable.”
Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church, issued the following statement.
“I spent time in Uganda to help set up HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs many years ago. Ugandans are a generous and hospitable people. But because of an unholy alliance between conservative religious groups in this country and anti-gay forces overseas Ugandans are turning on their own Ugandan sons and daughters who happen to be gay. This proposed law is a threat to LGBT people in Uganda and everywhere. Faith leaders of all traditions should speak out for the most vulnerable in Uganda before it’s too late.”