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Document Type

Notes

Abstract

In the fall of 2009, a Ugandan Minister of Parliament introduced legislation to further criminalize homosexual conduct in Uganda, which has been illegal since colonialism. This legislation would impose the death penalty on certain homosexual activity and would require citizens to report homosexual activity to the police or face jail time. Condemned by world leaders, some western governments threatened to withhold financial aid. In the United States, Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon has argued that, should the legislation become law, Uganda would be ineligible for trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). AGOA requires that beneficiary nations not engage in gross violations of internationally recognized human rights. This Note argues that sexual orientation is an internationally recognized human right and that the criminal penalties provided for in the Ugandan legislation constitute a gross violation of this right. It concludes that should the Ugandan legislation become law, Uganda would be ineligible for trade benefits under AGOA.

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