ONE Statement on Ugandan anti-homosexuality bill
WASHINGTON — Michael Elliott, President and CEO of The ONE Campaign, issued the following statement:
“At ONE, we are deeply concerned at the signing of the Ugandan anti-homosexuality bill recently, and at similar legislation passed earlier this year in Nigeria.
At this difficult time, we support those many African civil society organizations, health experts and citizens who have protested against such laws, including UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe and ONE’s own International Patron Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who said last week: ‘There is no scientific justification for prejudice and discrimination, ever. And nor is there any moral justification.’
In recent years, while access to anti-retroviral treatment for AIDS has improved rapidly, success in reducing new HIV infections has largely plateaued. Increasingly, new HIV infections are concentrated among marginalized populations, including men who have sex with men and other members of the LGBT community. Any steps that stigmatize or criminalize such groups create new obstacles for patients, advocates, and public health practitioners alike. As we noted in ONE’s 2013 AIDS Report, nations such as Uganda and Nigeria will not be able to turn the tide on their countries’ AIDS epidemics without significantly improving efforts to reach marginalized groups.
We applaud the bravery of those, wherever they are, who continue to seek and deliver critical health services for all citizens, whatever their sexual orientation, and will stand with them in the months and years ahead.”
ONE is a campaigning and advocacy organization of more than 3.5 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. Strictly nonpartisan, we raise public awareness and press political leaders to combat AIDS and preventable diseases, increase investments in agriculture and nutrition, and demand greater transparency in poverty-fighting programs. ONE is not a grant-making organization and does not solicit funding from the public or receive government funding. ONE is funded almost entirely by a handful of philanthropists and foundations. We achieve change through advocacy. Our teams in Washington, D.C., London, Johannesburg, Brussels, Berlin, and Paris educate and lobby governments to shape policy solutions that save and improve millions of lives. To learn more, go to ONE.org.