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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: March 7, 2014 10:24 AM
From: Representative Michael P. McGeehan
To: All House members
Subject: Legislation Prohibiting Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Investments in State Sponsors of Criminalized Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity.
Last week, we learned that Uganda codified its long-standing laws criminalizing homosexual behavior as well as penalizing those citizens who do not report acts of homosexuality. This comes six weeks after Nigeria imposed a ban on homosexuality. According to Amnesty International, 38 of Africa’s 54 countries have banned same-sex relationships with penalties ranging from multiple years in prison to life sentences and even death.

With the persecution of gays escalating across the Middle East, India, and Russia and criminalized in upwards of 80 nation/states, the plight of LGBT persons in many parts of the world is dire. How can we tolerate, let alone aid and abet, those countries that imprison, torture and kill their legitimate citizens only because of their sexual orientation or gender identity?

Based on the divestiture campaign in the 1980’s, which is credited with the dismantling of the apartheid system in South Africa, I will introduce legislation requiring the Pennsylvania Department of State to compile a list of state sponsors of criminalized sexual orientation or gender identity, to be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will be prohibited from investing in those states so identified. The legislation allows for humanitarian exemptions as provided for by the United States Government.

By not investing in nations that institutionalize discrimination against their homosexual citizens, Pennsylvania will stand as a model for upholding the human and civil rights of the LGBT community world-wide. Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation. Thank you.

Introduced as HB2192