The Ugandan government has passed a dangerous Anti-Homosexuality Bill, a law that now criminalizes homosexuality in the country with extreme penalties. Under this law, LGBT people could be sent to prison solely because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill’s author, David Bahati, has been quoted as saying he believes the government of Uganda should “kill every last gay person.” And the law itself is so expansive, it could actually hurt LGBT Ugandans living abroad, by forcing them to be extradited back to the country for violating the “Anti-Homosexuality Bill”.
Citibank and Barclays -- two of the largest banks in the world -- have major operations in Uganda. Citibank has nearly $300 million in assets invested Uganda, and is a major leader in a U.S. Chamber of Commerce based in Kampala, Uganda’s capital.
Barclays is Uganda’s third largest bank, with more than 1,000 employees in the country and 51 branches throughout the nation.
Citibank and Barclays are also well known for supporting their LGBT employees and protecting their employees and customers from anti-gay discrimination. Citibank is a huge supporter of LGBT groups in the United States, and has received a 100% rating from the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. And Stonewall has previously named Barclays the most LGBT-friendly company in all of Scotland, with the bank regularly ranked as one of the best companies for LGBT people to work for in the world.
With the Anti-Homosexuality Bill now established law in Uganda, Citibank and Barclays have unique and necessary voices that could help stop the rising tide of homophobia in Uganda. Their presence in Uganda is significant, and their voices in opposition to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill could have a profound impact in keeping LGBT people safe in Uganda.
Ask Citibank and Barclays to publicly condemn Uganda’s “Anti-Homosexuality Bill,” and send a loud message to Ugandan legislators that criminalizing homosexuality won’t be supported by major international businesses.
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