By DANIEL MARTIN of the Daily Mail
David Cameron has pledged to slash aid to African countries with poor records on homosexual rights.
The Prime Minister will tell struggling nations they will receive funding ‘fines’ if persecution of gays continues.
The Government has already cut aid to Malawi by £19million after two gay men were sentenced to 14 years hard labour. The southern African nation also plans to bring in tough anti-lesbian laws.
Malawi has received £200million from Britain over the past three years.
International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell could also reduce aid to Uganda and Ghana unless they drop laws against gays.
Uganda, which is due to receive £70million in 2011, plans to punish homosexuality with the death penalty
The president of Ghana, which gets £36million a year, has promised to bring in measures to ‘check the menace of homosexuality’.
However, no mention has been made of cutting aid to Zimbabwe, which got £69million last year. Gays there still face persecution from security forces.
Jailed: Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga were convicted of unnatural acts and gross indecency, and sentenced to 14 years hard labour
In May, Malawi’s first openly gay couple, Steven Monjeza, 26, and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 20, were jailed for 14 years. They had been arrested after holding an engagement ceremony in December.
Just days ago, Mr Cameron told the Conservative Party conference that it was right to legalise gay marriage.
A spokesman for Mr Mitchell said: ‘The Government is committed to combating violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in all circumstances, in this country and abroad. We take action where we have concerns.
‘We only provide aid directly to governments when we are satisfied that they share our commitments to reduce poverty and respect human rights.’
My two cents
But what will that do though in the long run if most states and including Jamaica outside of the region mentioned in the article have a strong beliefs or perception that homosexuality is an import and that actions such as this are forcing the hand of countries with “christian principles” and “high moral values” to capitulate to the powerful gay lobby from first world nations yet The Prime Minister David Cameron is not gay but could be viewed as a puppet in the scheme of this with the pressure coming and positions from the European Union side of things and other bodies such as the United Nations on sexual orientation.
Is forcing countries to comply the way to go?
Or hitting them economically?
I don’t think so, certainly other diplomatic methods can be employed but what about the notion that anti gay forces in the United States are in effect exporting homophobia and funding anti gay and religious fanaticism especially in parts of Africa in recent times. What does Mr. Cameron et al have to say or do about that?, these powerful backers behind such moves are said to be numerous and are some of the biggest companies and individuals allegedly. Will the UK also criticize those backers and demand they stop this kind of clandestine support or be made to stop? Can or will the UK Prime Minister stand up to the police man of the world and call it for what it is? Are we going to solve the issue of tolerance this way folks? I don’t think so, the hitting of the economic prosperity of these non compliant states as it were may only serve to bring more harm to the voices and populations on the ground who are made to pay the price as involuntary martyrs for this kind of pressure.
While I can understand the need for rights and recognition to be extended to the common man this incessant push to seemingly impose it on the rest of the problematic states is unjustified for now, I say more dialogue bearing in mind also other countries who may have similar anti gay positions and laws with dire societal consequences are watching this and may feel justified in tacitly supporting homophobic acts even more so whilst becoming hardlined on budging from their no ease on buggery positions. We saw the recent comments but the Antiguan and Barbudan Attorney General on the law there on the strength of a legal challenge mounted by a group in Belize named UNIBAM
This debate has no end soon so let us see.
Peace and tolerance