Statement by An Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, T.D., on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda

DUBLIN, Ireland, February 19, 2014 – An Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, T.D., made the following statement on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda.

“I am deeply concerned by the news that Uganda intends to enact legislation to criminalise homosexuality.

I have made it clear, including in direct talks with President Museveni, that the enactment of this draconian legislation would affect our valued relationship with Uganda.

Ireland, together with our EU partners, has engaged actively with the Ugandan Parliament and President Museveni in an effort to halt the regressive and discriminatory Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

It is in clear conflict with Uganda’s binding international obligations to uphold human rights. It is a threat to Uganda’s gay community and an affront to all those who value tolerance, respect and dignity of all people.

Once enacted, this legislation will be a step back for Uganda. I urge the President and the Ugandan Government to uphold their international obligations to treat all citizens equally, regardless of their sexual orientation.

I would like to express support for all human rights activists in Uganda, particularly those working for the human rights of Lesbian Bisexual Gay and Transgender people.

I want to assure them that Ireland is committed to ensuring that the people of Uganda do not suffer violence or discrimination on the grounds of their sexual orientation. Ireland will continue to play a positive role in support of human rights and equality in Uganda.

I will continue to monitor developments in Uganda closely, including through our embassy in Kampala.”

SOURCE: Ireland – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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