Legislation under consideration in Uganda that could make homosexuality a criminal offense punishable with long jail terms and even execution is "odious," President Barack Obama said during his address at this morning's National Prayer Breakfast:
Obama Calls Anti-Gay Effort In Uganda 'Odious'
That declaration took on some political significance because there had been an appeal to C-SPAN, from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, to not broadcast the breakfast because a group that sponsors the annual event has been accused of having ties to the draft legislation. CREW also urged lawmakers not to attend.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said during her remarks at the breakfast that:
"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. Every time I travel, I raise the plight of girls and women, and make it clear that we expect to see changes. And I recently called President Museveni, whom I have known through the prayer breakfast, and expressed the strongest concerns about a law being considered in the parliament of Uganda."
The Fellowship Foundation, the group at the center of the controversy that is also known as The Family, has publicly condemned the legislation. As The New York Times writes, while the group has ties to the Ugandan politician who introduced the legislation, Fellowship member J. Robert Hunter "said that about 30 Family members, all Americans, active in Africa recently conveyed their dismay about the legislation to Ugandan politicians, including Mr. (David) Bahati." He is the legislation's sponsor.
Audio of the president's address to the breakfast is posted here.