The UN Should Reward Diplomacy, not Elevate Tyranny, Says TWO Kutesa

CHICAGO – Truth Wins Out called on the United Nations today to reject Uganda’s foreign affairs minister, Sam Kutesa, from consideration for the presidency of the United Nations General Assembly. He personifies a violent, repressive regime that persecutes sexual minorities and squelches the basic liberty of all its citizens. The UN vote could take place as early as June 17 and would represent a set back for human rights, as well as a tremendous blow to the credibility of the world’s foremost international organization.

“The elevation of Sam Kutesa as UN General Assembly president would place tyranny above diplomacy and make a mockery of the United Nations,” said Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen. “If the United Nations cares about human rights, then Kutesa simply can’t be in the conversation for the presidency.”

“Uganda is well known for its extensive human rights abuses,” said Bruce Wilson, director of Truth Wins Out’s Center Against Religious Extremism (TWOCARE). “Sam Kutesa represents a brutal and corrupt dictatorship, a democracy in name only, that has lorded over Uganda for nearly three decades and has instituted draconian laws that run roughshod over basic liberty and personal dignity.”

Uganda’s attacks on the LGBT community are well known – culminating with President Yoweri Museveni’s Feb. 24, 2014 signing of the politically motivated Anti-homosexuality Law. Under this cruel and oppressive law, a person convicted of “serial homosexuality,” could be sentenced to life in prison. This has already led to LGBT people being publicly outed in Ugandan newspapers, as well as a 10-fold increase in violence against the LGBT community since the law was signed.

The Ugandan dictatorship has recently cracked down on civil society and opposition parties. The regime passed the Public Order Management, which bans gatherings of three or more citizens without prior approval in writing from the police. There is also evidence of deep government corruption, and Ugandan meddling in neighboring countries – which has contributed to the rape or death of countless civilians.

Truth Wins Out (TWO) is a non-profit organization that works to demolish the very foundation of anti-gay prejudice. Our philosophy is simple: We attack the underpinnings of homophobia by debunking harmful lies, discrediting hateful myths, and countering anti-gay organizations. By chipping away at the underlying ignorance that fuels anti-LGBT attitudes, we can ultimately win our fight for fairness and achieve full equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people worldwide.