Britain’s development aid now has a new criterion: respect LGBTI rights.
In a new development, Prime Minister David Cameron has vowed to cut aid for countries with poor record on gay rights.
According to the Daily Mail, countries that persecute gay and lesbians will receive funding “fines.” Countries that are on the forefront of possible aid cuts include countries like Uganda and Ghana with poor LGBTI rights.
In a tough measure, Britain cut £19million of its foreign aid to Malawi after the southeastern African country imprisoned two gay men for holding an engagement ceremony.
In the wake of the new announcement, the Ghana government, which receives £36million in aid from Britain annually, has promised to “check the menace of homosexuality,” as to an article in TIME magazine.
LGBTI organizations around the world has hailed Britain’s move, including Nepal’s Blue Diamond Society.
“Aid should be denied to any government who persecute their citizens on grounds like gender, race, cast, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientations, gender identity, health condition etc.” it was quoted in a blog set up in 2008 to help save an Iranian gay teenager from deportation. The blog now promotes LGBT rights for asylum and refuge in the UK.
But not everyone welcomes the British PM’s take on the aid policy.
In his article in the American Spectator, Hal G P Colebath argues that if is being slashed in African countries for persecuting the gays, “Pakistan will continue to receive more than $400 million a year despite the victims of persecution are only Christians, who don’t count.”
“All persecution is worse than deplorable,” he says.
In another reasoning, an article in the Daily Mail says that’s it’s not only gay people who are being persecuted in the developing countries with poor human rights record.
“Christians, Animists and other faiths are being butchered and ethnically cleansed in Africa; women are systematically oppressed in Islamic countries. Yet the Government does not suspend aid on their account,” writes Melanie Phillips.
And as LGBTI organizations are in support of PM Cameron move, the question lingers: How good of a move is it?