And What Did We Learn From Today’s Congressional Hearings on Uganda?

While the president is opening his mail to find letters signed by a slew of lawmakers denouncing Uganda’s Kill The Gays bill, some of those 90 congressmen and women today heard testimony from activists, State Department officials, and even a Ugandan who flew in to tell his story of personal victimization.

At the congressional hearing today hosted by the nonpartisan Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, and chaired by Rep. Tammy Baldwin, officials heard from the State Department’s deputy assistant secretary Karl Wycoff, “that the Bill not only constitutes serious threats to human rights in Uganda and the international reputation of country, but also compromises Aids work,” relays UK Gay News. Christine Lubinski, speaking on behalf of of the HIV Medicine Association at the Infectious Diseases Society of America, told officials “Silence equals death. We have a responsibility to ensure billions of USPEPFAR money is reaching those in need.”

And then there was Julius Kaggwa, of the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law, who flew in from Uganda to share how he was among the “personal victim[s]” of assault in the country’s crackdown on gays. “All in Uganda are affected.”

It must have been somewhat reassuring, then, to have Rep. James McGovern, the Massachusetts Democrat (who was arrested in D.C. in 2006 outside the Sudanese embassy for protesting the Darfur genocide), declare that “Congress stands behind Mr. Kaggwa” and that he would be “watching for his security very closely.”

Us, too.

BELOW: A riveting look at Transforming Uganda, from Talk 2 Action’s Bruce Wilson, who chronicles how faith-based through from Francis Oda and Ed Silvoso’s frightening International Transformation Network are striking out an on organized attempt to demonize homosexuality.

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  • Shawnsean

    I don’t think Obama should meddle in other countries problems.

  • Jeff K.

    @Shawnsean: Technically he can’t without invading, but he can always put the pressure on. Nothing wrong with a sanction here or there.

  • Timothy Kincaid


    Oh, of course. Let’s not meddle. Let’s just let them execute their gay population. Not meddling certainly worked well in Rwanda, didn’t it?

  • chris

    Don’t meddle? Are you fucking serious?
    What happened to ‘never again’ after the holocaust? It’s our fucking DUTY to meddle with the affairs of other governments if it involves the slaughter of innocent civilians!

  • Spartan

    Don’t American lawmakers have other serious issues to talk about than to discuss a BILL in another country. It’s just a bill, people. If lawmakers there are short of ideas I can dispense some advise here:

    1. How to catch Osama Bin Laden
    2. How can the USA contain a rising China
    3. How to play catchup to Iran in the Middle East

    I don’t need to mention that in both Iran and China homosexuals may face death or may be used as human guinea pigs. why not pick on someone roughly your size. Like China?

    Homosexuality is against our culture and against religion. The God who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah is the same God we worship here

  • chris

    “Homosexuality is against our culture and against religion. The God who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah is the same God we worship here”

    No, that was the Jewish God (it was in the old testament) and I hate to break it to ya, but us Gays get a lot of love from the jews.
    Plus, if that’s the way you want it, why not move to Iran or China? I’ll throw you a fuck off party myself :D

  • Tarcash

    @Spartan: Not everyone worships your god in this country. This is (supposed to be) a secular nation. Remember the First Amendment?

  • benlayvey


    “contain a rising China” as if China’s rise to economic supremacy is a bad thing. USA cannot be the only Superpower forever. Empires collapse, there are NO EXCEPTIONS!

  • terrwill

    Please don’t even waste the effort to push down the keys on your keyboard to reply to an asshat like Spartass. She like the many others prior to her only post such items to seek attention like a naughty child. As with the child if you keep paying attention to them they keep acting out. Ignore them and they wimper away……..please do the same…..

  • Mark

    Apart from Queerty, the the bit of cyberspace over America is silent about the hearing in Washington yesterday. Thankfully, Queerty has pointed to a site that actually had something about what went on at this hearing. But how come it is a Brit site that tells us the outline of what evidence was given to the American politicians about the very worrying legislation that is about to go through the Ugandan parliament, inspired by American religious fundamentalists? Where are these often self-important American bloggers in reportage? I am sure that if someone in England could get the details, then the American bloggers could have tuned into the Twitter live coverage from somone who was at the hearing. Perhaps the subject is not sexy enough when there is the Proposition 8 court case going on in California. Good for Queerty and UKGayNews, who I emailed and got a reply back which said they were “astonished at the lack of coverage and are awaiting a full transcript of the hearing which will be posted as soon as it is available”.

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