Obama, Clinton speak out on Uganda at breakfast

It is reported that this morning, at the National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton used the opportunity to criticize the Uganda bill on homosexuality.


Clinton spoke before Obama at the event, offering a speech focused primarily on her own personal faith. But toward the end, Clinton added this section on the use of religion to undermine human rights:

In the Obama administration, we are working to bridge religious divides. We’re taking on violations of human rights perpetrated in the name of religion and we invite members of Congress and clergy and active citizens like all of you here to join us . . . . We are also standing up for girls and women, who too often in the name of religion are denied their basic human rights. And we are standing up for gays and lesbians, who deserve to be treated as full human beings. And we are also making it clear to countries and leaders that these are priorities of the United States . . . I recently called President [Yoweri Kaguta] Museveni, whom I have known through the Prayer Breakfast, and expressed the strongest concerns about a law being considered in the parliament of Uganda.

Obama addressed the topic a few minutes later, in a speech about restoring civility to political and religious debates:

We may disagree about gay marriage, but surely we can agree that it’s unconscionable to target gays and lesbians for who they are, whether it’s here in the United States, or, as Hillary mentioned, more extremely in odious laws that are being proposed most recently in Uganda.

Other reports, added as they appear:

  1. The Hill
  2. CNN
  3. Huffington Post (full text of Obama’s remarks, as delivered)
  4. AFP – “Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero, in town for meetings with US officials, also attended the prayer meeting with Obama and used his address to warn against intolerance. “I want to defend the right of every person to his moral autonomy, the freedom of all to live with his beloved,” he said.””
  5. Voice of America
  6. NPR – Scrolling to the end you’ll find an audio link to the President’s remarks, and Clinton’s too.
  7. AFP (again) – “Somebody should tell President Obama that the parliament is doing its legislative duty in the interest of the people of Uganda,” James Nsaba Buturo, Ugandan minister of ethics and integrity, told AFP.


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