U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) joined nine other senators in signing a letter that was sent to the Obama administration. The letter urges the administration to consider removing African countries from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)., which gives the nations that are part of that Act the ability to import duty-free goods to our country.
The senators wrote: “We are deeply concerned over a growing trend of laws and proposed legislation targeting LGBT individuals in Africa, which violates the standards set forth in the African Growth and Opportunity Act. We therefore ask that your Administration review Nigeria and Uganda’s eligibility for AGOA’s trade preference and, if it is determined that those countries are not ‘making continual progress’ in meeting the statute’s requirements, that you take steps to revoke AGOA eligibility to Nigeria and Uganda. We believe that the discriminatory anti-LGBT laws in those countries represent a clear violation of human rights and hope that the interagency process charged with AGOA’s annual review will make this recommendation.”
The Senators signal a growing movement within the Democratic party to create a litmus test on nations based on their treatment of LGBT people. Critics of the Senators point out that these same Senators remain silent on the treatment of Christians and women by nations that have favorable trade deals with the United States.
Insiders in the beltway suggested to The Freedomist that the real significance of this letter is the growing power of the LGBT lobby within Washington, thanks in large part to well-funded groups like GLAAD and other pro-homosexual organizations. GLAAD and similar groups receive considerable funding from such billionaires as George Soros and transgender billionaire Col. James Pritzker.
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