President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama has, in a proclamation, barred anyone who participates in human rights abuses against LGBTI people from entering the US.

“The United States’ enduring commitment to respect for human rights and humanitarian law requires that its Government be able to ensure that the United States does not become a safe haven for serious violators of human rights and humanitarian law and those who engage in other related abuses,” said Obama.

The proclamation, dated August 4th, suspends the entry of immigrant and non-immigrant aliens who have “planned, ordered, assisted, aided and abetted, committed or otherwise participated” in violence against any civilian population because they are part of a particular community or group.

These groups consist of race, colour, religion and language, among others, with the proclamation specifically including “sexual orientation” and “gender identity”.

The proclamation further states that for someone to be barred from the US the abuses need not have actually taken place; simply having planned them is sufficient reason to be refused entry.

The Secretary of State is tasked with identifying, in his or her sole discretion, those people who will be banned from the US on the basis of their human rights abuses.

The Council for Global Equality praised the proclamation, noting that it could be used to justify the exclusion of people like Ugandan parliamentarian David Bahati, who introducing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda’s parliament.

“The President’s new order gives him and the Secretary of State an important tool to use in dissuading extremist actions that are prejudicial to basic human rights, and in encouraging the development of inclusive laws and societies,” said the council.

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