“I am appalled and concerned by video that has surfaced of Councilmember Fernando Cabrera, recorded in Uganda, in which he celebrates that country’s government and its laws both prohibiting marriage equality and opposing equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

“I am proud to represent 1.4 million Bronxites, many of whom are members of the LGBT community, including members of my own family. That number also includes a large African population, including many individuals and families who have fled the oppression of countries like Uganda for the freedom and opportunity of the United States. The Ugandan government’s recent anti-gay legislation, known as the “Kill the Gays Bill,” would have criminalized same-sex relationships in their country, and punished anyone who associates with LGBT people or speaks up for their equality and their humanity. This legislation was enacted, then struck down by the Ugandan judiciary.

“These laws were widely condemned throughout the world for cruelty, inhumanity and being offensive and discriminatory, and the Ugandan government has been regularly cited as one of the world’s worst human rights violators by organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, among others. Councilmember Cabrera should not be stoking the flames of oppression abroad, nor should he be praising the Ugandan government action’s as a model that should be replicated here.

“His comments are offensive and I condemn them,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

The complete video of Council Member Cabrera’s remarks can be found at http://youtu.be/Ob6uU-QxhMY.