Taking a stand against Uganda's anti-gay policies

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Kathleen Parker's Feb. 18 op-ed column, "Uganda and moral colonialism," shed light on a bill that would legalize the execution of HIV-positive men and the jailing of people who engage in homosexual activity in Uganda. She rightly framed the U.S. response to it as a moral issue -- not just a political one. But even scaling down the current legislation wouldn't go far enough.

Uganda, like more than 70 other countries, already criminalizes same-sex behavior. In these countries, men who have sex with men are less likely to seek HIV prevention, education or testing services, and that makes them vulnerable to infection. So while activists focus on trying to halt the proposed bill, the United States should go further and leverage its influence to encourage rights-supportive policies and reforms for at-risk populations.

Uganda should be repealing its same-sex behavior laws instead of strengthening them.

Kent Klindera, New York

The writer is a program manager at the Foundation for AIDS Research.

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