Markey Praises State Dept. Response to Uganda’s Enactment of Anti-Homosexuality Act

Lawmaker introduced International Human Rights Defense Act with 24 Senators to affirm LGBT human rights is a U.S. foreign policy priority

Washington (June 19, 2014) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), chairman of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, released the following statement today after the State Department announced new and additional steps to respond to the Government of Uganda’s enactment of its Anti-Homosexuality Act, which makes homosexuality a crime punishable by life in prison. Last week, Senator Markey was joined by 24 other Senators in introducing The International Human Rights Defense Act (S. 2472), which would direct the Department of State to make preventing and responding to discrimination and violence against the LGBT community a foreign policy priority and devise a global strategy to achieve those goals. Specifically, it would establish a position in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor responsible for coordinating that effort.


“The LGBT community continues to be targeted and persecuted with increasing regularity, with Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act among the most brutal and unacceptable of these recent attacks. I applaud the State Department’s efforts to protect the basic human rights of LGBT people in Uganda. My legislation, the International Human Rights Defense Act, will ensure that responding to discrimination and violence against the LGBT community remains a foreign policy priority for our nation and will create a position at the State Department to coordinate this important effort. The international community should know that the United States is committed to protecting the human rights of the LGBT community everywhere.”