Speaking today at Georgetown University, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a number of remarks on worldwide LGBT rights. (Full text HERE) Clinton described the proposed Ugandan bill that seeks the death penalty for gays as "oppressive" and expanded after her remarks:
There have been organized efforts to kill and maim gays and lesbians in some countries that we have spoken out about, and also conveyed our very strong concerns about to their governments... Then the example that I used of a piece of legislation in Uganda which would not only criminalize homosexuality but attach the death penalty to it. We have expressed our concerns directly, indirectly, and we will continue to do so. The bill has not gone through the Ugandan legislature, but it has a lot of public support by various groups, including religious leaders in Uganda. And we view it as a very serious potential violation of human rights.
So it is clear that across the world this is a new frontier in the minds of many people about how we protect the LGBT community, but it is at the top of our list because we see many instances where there is a very serious assault on the physical safety and an increasing effort to marginalize people. And we think it’s important for the United States to stand against that and to enlist others to join us in doing so.
Clinton also named Egypt, Iran, Iraq and Nigeria as having "serious" human rights violations toward its LGBT citizens. In 2007, the Nigeian parliament proposed extreme anti-gay legislation similar to the Ugandan bill. Thankfully, that has stalled under international pressure.
Clinton becomes the most senior member of the Obama Administration to personally speak against the bill. On Friday evening, after weeks of prodding, the White House finally issued a statement condemning the legislation.