Obama urged to raise Brunei’s anti-gay laws in trade deal talks

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President Obama has been urged to raise the subject of LGBT rights in trade talks with Brunei.

Brunei is one of 11 nations to join the United States in signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which if passed would create the largest trade pact in history.

In April last year, Brunei revised its penal code to include death by stoning for same-sex sexual activity.

The Bellingham Herald reports that several US LGBT rights campaigners want Brunei thrown out of the talks as punishment.

“A country that has laws that are anathema to American values doesn’t deserve to be in our trade negotiations,” California Democratic Representative John Garamendi said in an interview. “We need to send a clear message.”

More than 100 members of Congress have urged for the US to press Brunei’s poor record of human rights in the ongoing talks.

In December, the White House announced that it has suspended The Gambia’s eligibility for trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) – in response to the country’s ongoing crackdown and persecution of LGBT citizens.

Jerame Davis, executive director of Pride at Work, said President Obama should take a similar tough stance against Brueni in relation to its anti-gay laws.