U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a letter Sept. 11 recommending John Abdallah Wambere for asylum, though the final approval is still pending a mandatory background check. Wambere is a gay rights activist in his native country of Uganda. The US State Department says antigay discrimination is a serious human rights violation in Uganda, where same-sex relationships are illegal. In Uganda, homosexuality has been punished by jailing and attacking these individuals while some newspapers have tried to expose them by publishing their names, photographs, and addresses.
Wambere came to United States in February to build support for gay rights in his native country. A few days later, the president of Uganda passed an anti-homosexuality bill which mandated tough sanctions for homosexual conduct including life in prison. The bill also makes it a crime punishable by a prison sentence not to report gay people. Even though the law was later overturned by the court because parliament passed it without a quorum, same sex conduct is still considered illegal in Uganda under a different law which has a gay community of 500, 000. Wambere applied for Asylum in May fearing that he might be targeted due to his gay rights stance.
United States is more accepting of gay rights than Uganda. So far, gay marriage is legal is 19 states. In May, 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage. But recently, Louisiana’s Federal judge Feldman upheld ban on same sex marriages, breaking a streak of 21 consecutive federal court decisions overturning the bans since June of 2013. Both U.S and Uganda are member states of the United Nations which have “pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The right to love and marry someone is part of your fundamental freedoms, so are both nations’ failure to fully comply with the UN declaration of Human rights in violation of UN?