Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Congressional Black Caucus to Secretary of State Kerry: Review U.S. Aid To Countries With Anti-LGBT Laws

By Brody Levesque | WASHINGTON -- The Congressional Black Caucus called on the Obama administration Tuesday to review all aid to countries with laws criminalizing homosexuality.
“Such laws not only violate human rights, they endanger lives and undermine public health efforts,” forty-one members of the caucus wrote in a letter addressed to U. S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
The letter, while praising the administration's efforts in response to a draconian law passed in December by the Ugandan parliament and just recently signed by Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, also urges that the United States reassess its relationships with all countries with anti-gay laws. Lawmakers pointed out Nigerian legislation similar to Uganda’s was recently enacted and that lawmakers from other African nations are considering similar measures. 
“Such laws not only violate human rights, they endanger lives and undermine public health efforts, most notably programs to address HIV/AIDS, which must be conducted in a non-discriminatory manner in order to be effective,” the letter states.
A senior source at the State Department acknowledged to LGBTQ Nation Tuesday that administration officials are “reviewing” partnerships in Uganda, however the official declined to provide any details.
Congressional sources told LGBTQ Nation that the administration has left key questions about the review process and ongoing actions unanswered for both Houses of Congress as well.
In Tuesday's letter the CBC members asked Kerry to have U.S. embassies be given the power to protect and assist “individuals endangered by anti-LGBT laws.”  The lawmakers expressed that they'd like to see the administration divert aid dollars away from any governments and non-governmental organizations that “support discriminatory laws.”