The United Nations General Assembly is poised to elect tomorrow, Wednesday, as its President the Ugandan Foreign Minister, Sam Kutesa, an outspoken defender of his country's draconian anti-gay laws. While the U.S. State Department insists in a statement to The Advocate, that "the United States continues to work globally to promote and protect the human rights of all persons, including LGBT persons," it has refused to join other western democracies in denouncing this appointment.
This election will provide international validation of regimes which promote hatred against and impose cruel punishment on their citizens who happen to be gay. In Uganda, failing to report a suspected "pervert" to the authorities is itself a federal crime punishable by seven years in prison. Placing Kutesa in a position of honor which includes chairing the Assembly's committees severely undercuts the U.N.'s own stated goals of advancing human rights among the world's nations.
Since our government is choosing to maintain diplomatic neutrality with respect to this appointment, it falls upon us as individual citizens, to break that silence. Please consider joining me in signing an online petition calling upon Secretary of State John Kerry and the General Assembly delegates to uphold the standard of universal human rights by opposing this nomination.
Uganda's policies of treating LGBT persons as criminals cannot be held up as a legitimate standard for the world.