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An End to Aid for Anti-Gay Countries? House Committee Approves Amendment

An End to Aid for Anti-Gay Countries? House Committee Approves Amendment

The House Financial Services Committee this week passed an amendment that would discourage financial aid to countries that are actively seeking to further criminalize or that already persecute citizens on the basis of their sexuality or gender identity.

From The Advocate:

According to a statement from Rep. Barney Frank [...] who introduced the amendment to the committee, the bill passed with nearly unanimous support. The amendment will be added to a House Financial Services Committee bill that outlines budget priorities for issues under the committee’s jurisdiction. According to Frank’s office, the Financial Services Committee’s overwhelming support for his amendment may lead to support in the Budget Committee and the full House.

The text of the amendment reads: “The Committee urges Treasury to advocate that governments receiving assistance from the multilateral development institutions do not engage in gross violations of human rights, for example, the denial of freedom of religion, including the right to choose one’s own religion, and physical persecution based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”

How the amendment will be received should it reach the Republican-controlled U.S. House would seem unclear, but this would be used to put pressure on countries like Uganda, a nation that heavily relies on foreign aid where lawmakers have sort to further criminalize homosexuality, considering the death penalty for “repeat offenders” breaking the overreaching and zealous mandates of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009, legislation that has yet to be passed but still lurks threateningly in parliament.

While no doubt welcomed by many LGBT advocates, the amendment would, however, seem to tackle only half the issue: in the case of Uganda, it is widely believed that certain American evangelicals went to the country and stirred up anti-gay feeling by preaching their extremely anti-gay beliefs. This in turn spawned further attempts at criminalizing homosexuality.

With reports that an anti-gay religious conservative from the U.S. recently embarked on a trip to Moldova to help stop an LGBT-inclusive anti-discrimination ordinance, the necessity of tackling this side of the issue, that is to say people exporting their anti-gay views to more fertile ground abroad, also becomes apparent.

Yet the proposed amendment could at least be a first step in trying to keep foreign governments from further persecuting LGBT citizens.

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Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to World Economic Forum.

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50 comments

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2:41PM PDT on Apr 25, 2011

Thanks for the article

8:42PM PDT on Mar 24, 2011

Go to YouTube and watch "The Ally Effect". This young coach is amazing and will help make the world a better place for all gays.

12:21AM PDT on Mar 20, 2011

Thanks for the article.

9:15AM PDT on Mar 19, 2011

Amy B. Mar 18, 2011 5:06 AM
"Fine by me...but we should end foreign aid to ALL countries and look to improve our own country first. Most of our foreign aid is military aid that is used for nefarious purposes.

We're broke here and that should be the second thing to go (the first being our outrageous "defense" spending.)"

The foreign aid provided by the US, are less than 1 percent of the budget. Most countries actually take an effort of providing at least one percent of their GNP for foreign aid. Even if all US aid where cut and then used to aid within the US, it wouldn't last very long.

However, if the military aid provided by the US to various countries, aswell as the unjust wars, all military bases, etc, where suspended and the money actually used to provide for the people here, the US would be a very prosperous country. Most likely able to provide full and equal healthcare for all, free nutricious meals in school, build a green infrastructure, provide affordable housing and free education including college and university, etc.

But that will not happen with the present ignorants in power.

But I am rooting for Mr. Franks bill and hope it will pass and have followers elsewhere!

But as long as the present majority, teabags and repukes, has anything to say in this issue, people are going to get poorer, less educated and unhealthier.

7:59AM PDT on Mar 19, 2011

Thank you, Rep. Barney Frank! I am so thankful that he serves ALL Americans. I think, in the "big picture", this is quite relevent to human rights everywhere. Go, Barney, Go! Equality fort all.

11:42PM PDT on Mar 18, 2011

Can we actually discontinue aid to the U.S.?

5:32PM PDT on Mar 18, 2011

People are born gay. Nothing wrong with that. Anyone who thinks its a choice is sadly mistaken.

9:40AM PDT on Mar 18, 2011

Now how do we keep our evangelicals home? Stirring up trouble here should be enough.

8:01AM PDT on Mar 18, 2011

now they will have an excuse for defunding this country..... they are trying to make laws here to further the statement that gays are 'less than' why not publicly state they have no interest in funding countries that discriminate in that way.

5:06AM PDT on Mar 18, 2011

Fine by me...but we should end foreign aid to ALL countries and look to improve our own country first. Most of our foreign aid is military aid that is used for nefarious purposes.

We're broke here and that should be the second thing to go (the first being our outrageous "defense" spending.)

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