Metro Weekly

Obama on Uganda Killing: “LGBT rights are not special rights; they are human rights.”

President Barack Obama, following up on an earlier statement today from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, issued a statement this afternoon condemning the killing of David Kato, an LGBT rights activist in Uganda.

Saying that “David showed tremendous courage in speaking out against hate,” Obama stated that “LGBT rights are not special rights; they are human rights.”

He concluded, “My Administration will continue to strongly support human rights and assistance work on behalf of LGBT persons abroad. We do this because we recognize the threat faced by leaders like David Kato, and we share their commitment to advancing freedom, fairness, and equality for all.”

Clinton’s statement went into more detail, with the secretary saying, “As an advocate for the group Sexual Minorities Uganda, he worked to defend the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. His efforts resulted in groundbreaking recognition for Uganda’s LGBT community, including the Uganda Human Rights Commission’s October 2010 statement on the unconstitutionality of Uganda’s draft ‘anti-homosexuality bill’ and the Ugandan High Court’s January 3 ruling safeguarding all Ugandans’ right to privacy and the preservation of human dignity.”

For further information, Box Turtle Bulletin has been one of the leading sources for accurate, up-to-the-minute information about the situation for LGBT people in Uganda in recent years. This week was no different, with Jim Burroway reporting on the news on Wednesday night, Jan. 26.

President Obama’s full statement is below the jump.

* * *

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

______________________________________________________

For Immediate Release                                                            January 27, 2011

Statement by the President on the Killing of David Kato

I am deeply saddened to learn of the murder of David Kato.  In Uganda, David showed tremendous courage in speaking out against hate.  He was a powerful advocate for fairness and freedom.  The United States mourns his murder, and we recommit ourselves to David’s work.

At home and around the world, LGBT persons continue to be subjected to unconscionable bullying, discrimination, and hate.  In the weeks preceding David Kato’s murder in Uganda, five members of the LGBT community in Honduras were also murdered.  It is essential that the Governments of Uganda and Honduras investigate these killings and hold the perpetrators accountable.

LGBT rights are not special rights; they are human rights.  My Administration will continue to strongly support human rights and assistance work on behalf of LGBT persons abroad.  We do this because we recognize the threat faced by leaders like David Kato, and we share their commitment to advancing freedom, fairness, and equality for all. 

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