February 4th, 2010
10:03 AM ET
13 years ago

Obama criticizes Ugandan anti-homosexuality bill

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/04/art.obama1.gi.jpg caption="President Barack Obama strongly criticized controversial anti-homosexuality legislation being considered by Uganda's legislature during an appearance Thursday at the National Prayer Breakfast."]Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama strongly criticized controversial anti-homosexuality legislation being considered by Uganda's legislature during an appearance Thursday at the National Prayer Breakfast.

The organization which sponsors the breakfast, the Fellowship Foundation, has been associated with efforts to pass the bill, according to the ethics group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).

The measure would punish sexual activity between persons of the same sex with long jail terms or death.

It is "unconscionable to target gays or lesbians for who they are," Obama said.

The measure being considered in Uganda is "odious," he added.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also criticized the bill during an appearance at the breakfast.

CREW had protested Obama's appearance at the breakfast, claiming in a statement that the event "designed to appear as if government-sanctioned, actually serves as a meeting and recruiting event for the shadowy Fellowship Foundation," also known as "The Foundation" and "The Family."

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. phil bowman

    He makes it to prayer breafast but cant make it to church. He is worried about Gays and Lesbians in another country! He how about a job! Let Uganda do what they voted to do.Why not do like the muslims do, Hang the gays and lesbians...........Iran does..........Be careful which hand you shake!! How about a job!!!

    February 4, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  2. John

    It's unreal to think Uganda is attempting to pass laws in this modern society for death sentences for those who are gay, sounds like the 1940's jews.

    February 4, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  3. rob

    I don't understand this article. I'm glad that he is denouncing this group but don't understand why they would be sponsoring the breakfast.

    February 4, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  4. Jack Martin

    Obam is trying to rule the world. He needs to stay out of other countries business. I think that America needs to investigate his background and his families backgound in Kenya.Obama has lost his calling,he would have made a super comedian.

    February 4, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  5. madmatt

    The breakfast is run by the CULT called The Family, a bigger group of murderous scum you have never met!

    February 4, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  6. marlene

    This is a good thing. The President's comments, a long with Sec. Clinton's comments should open the dialog and keep the focus on the secretive "C Street" group. The more people who are aware of this group and its influential members is in the best interest of America. Fear mongering Republicans are included in this group and should be voted out of office. They stand for and represent only themselves.

    February 4, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  7. Independent

    This was the correct venue to directly address the immoral proposal in Uganda, which many in "The Family" misguidedly helped enable.

    There should be a denouncement of Uganda's bill by all members at this breakfast to uphold basic human rights and decency.

    February 4, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  8. Pennsylvania Teacher

    I like how the President can go into opposing groups and tell them what he thinks. That takes real courage.

    February 4, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  9. Wanda in Montana

    Amen! Time for separation of church and state even if you go to criticize them. Ignoring them is more potent. Superstition is irrelevant to the real world and it's time to put these people in their places - where their god(s) exist - nowhere.

    February 4, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  10. Captain Awesome

    Wait a minute. I thought we were going to stop pushing our imperialist views on other countries? I thought we were going to stop telling other countries what to do and how to do it? We want to show the world that we're the new and improved U.S, and we just want the world to like us again. Right?

    February 4, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  11. dave

    No matter what Obama does, people will be there to tell him what he is doing wrong. Ethics groups (meaning other religious groups) want the president to follow them and not the others. Religion needs to STAY out of the gov't.

    February 4, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  12. Slider

    Domestic economic policy in shambles....check

    Foreign policy exposed as timid and unconvincing...check

    Americans losing faith in this administration....check

    The people tired of Obama's blubbering...check

    All aboard the gay train. Time to create more victims and rally the special interests.

    None of this lateral movement to fringe political causes is doing anything to make this country stronger, confident, and able to face the challenges of the future.

    February 4, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  13. Bambi go Boom

    Obama said all the right things. I don't see how this group could be offended. I'm a Liberal and I thought he was great!

    February 4, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  14. Michael Marsh

    Once again, President Obama feels he knows what is best for everyone....Americans, Ugandan's, it doesnt matter who it is. His arrogance is truly his achilles heel.

    February 4, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  15. Susan

    I was against Obama even attending this shadowy event, but good for him for calling out their homophobic agenda! The Family should be thrown off the "religious organization" roles, and taxed for being the political lobby firm that they really are. If they were really about God, they would not be home to so many cheating (mostly Republican) Congressmen, and they would be against this horrible agenda in Uganda that is killing people, people created by their God, too. More hypocritical behavior from the right.

    February 4, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  16. Peggy - TX

    Thank you Mr. President for making this statement even though there will be negative political repercussions from those that seek to impose their own flawed interpretation of the Bible. It is this strength of character that you consistently exhibit that will allow you to persevere and lead this nation to better itself.

    February 4, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  17. Too much government = bad

    Government should stay out of people's private lives as much as possible–whether it is Uganda or the USA.

    February 4, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  18. ez

    I like Uganda's anti-homosexuality bill; it's a moral statute that speaks to the core of our existence as human beings that we must fear God and shun evil. This is a just law that honors the goodwill of a nation. Homosexuality is an evil and wrong thing to do.

    February 4, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  19. Patrick Fuchs

    It is good to hear the president (or any president) condemn such thinking directly towards groups which support such midieval schools of thought – and especially groups which are trying to pass Iranian-type laws in other countries. The Fellowship Foundation sounds a lot like a neo-Nazi organization in that it is criminalizing gays and lesbians for the genetic makeups. When will the Foundation want to begin executions?

    February 4, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  20. Jon


    February 4, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  21. Russell

    They'll critize Obama if he goes to the bathroom to take a dump , what else is new with this racist country that truely needs to look in the mirror at itself,,,,,,,,

    February 4, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  22. Obama Victim

    this guy can't even run this country........perhaps he should "butt-out" of others

    February 4, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  23. rita

    These conservative groups with "Family" in their names completely ignore that gays and lesbians entered the planet through their human mothers tummies and were planted there by their human fathers. Gays and lesbians are human too and therefore part of American "Families". The way these groups behave, you would think that gays and lesbians flew in from Venus and are not part of the American "family". They should all focus on their own failed heterosexual families and stop trying to get brownie points from the supernatural by poking fingers in the eyes of and lives of gays and lesbians.

    February 4, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  24. Craig Church

    THANK YOU, President Obama!

    February 4, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  25. John E Lexington KY

    I suppose using the meeting to criticize the lethal law is useful, but still hard to see attending a meeting hosted by such a reprehensible group. Why is it that so many institutions and associations with odious intentions wrap themselves in religious camouflage? Politicians as well.

    February 4, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
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