SA GLAAD would like to thank and praise US President Barack Obama for defending human rights and equality by describing a proposed Ugandan law against homosexuality as “odious” at the National Prayer Breakfast this week.

It is even more praiseworthy that he did so at an event sponsored and hosted by one of the leading groups involved in recent US religious right wing efforts to destroy the human rights and lives of the pink community in Uganda, the secretive group called “The Family” – of which the Ugandan sponsor of the Bill, Ugandan MP, David Bahati is a member. The Fellowship, also known as The Family, is an intensely private Christian conservative organisation. It has no website, contact details or published member list.

Obama acknowledged that some at the event held differing views on gay rights, but said: “Surely we can agree that it is unconscionable to target gays and lesbians for who they are, whether it is here in the United States or… more extremely, in odious laws that are being proposed most recently in Uganda.”

We feel it is significant that he did so at an event attended by a number of high-profile lawmakers and religious leaders and in full view of the entire world.

SA GLAAD views it as alarming that South Africa, a leading country in Africa, has refused to add its voice to the international condemnation leveled at Uganda for its choice to further oppress human rights – and the appalling choice of homophobe Jon Qwelane as ambassador to Uganda.