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Ghana gay rights leader urges UK government not to cut aid

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  1. Derek Williams 12 Oct 2011, 1:37pm

    I see his point, but what other weapon do we have? As regards scapegoating, we have been blamed for everything anyway, including earthquakes, and to stop the aid cuts, all they have to do is treat LGBT with dignity no different from that accorded to the dominant, straight majority.

    I have often thought that with our 300 million strong global population (4.5% of 7bn) we could form our own superpower, buy a bloody great island, build a city on it, and then settle LGBT refugees there, who are feeing from persecution.

    1. Lucio Buffone 12 Oct 2011, 3:21pm

      Surely it would be better to deny visa to the EC for any politicians that vote for homophobic legislation or advocate hate! Why should children be denied Malaria treatment or young mothers anti-retrovirals because their Government is homophobic

      1. They are more likely to be denied them because their homophobic corrupt government has syphoned off the funds to buy private jets to travel the world in style in.

        These regimes use foreign aid not to supplement their spend in these areas but to substitute for it and even then some gets syphoned off to their pet projects no matter how hard we try to scrutinise it.

    2. Gay Daily Mail Reader 13 Oct 2011, 6:31am

      Buying an island and populating it with LGBT people is a fantastic idea – unfortunately with virtually all usable land now accounted for in the world it will be very difficult. Look what happened when another persecuted group of people – the Jews – set up their own state. People were displaced and there is a lot of resentment towards it. I suppose with Greece just about to go bust Lesbos and Mykonos could be up for sale!

  2. And is any of the current ‘aid’ helping LGBT people? Education – yes but huge lump sums to corrupt regimes a big fat NO.

  3. I understand his concerns and I would prefer to help develop his country into economic stability through trade and aid support which leads to self reliance but we need to stand by our values and if the country abuse human rights we should withdraw aid

    I think the latest figures for UK Ghanian aid was £89m

    1. If we are putting LGBT people first we should listen to their opinions. If we don’t care about Ghanan LGBT people only how we feel about giving money to anti gay people then we should continue but not pretend we care about other LGBT people

      1. I hear his opinions and they are relevant. However, I do not see anything immoral in withholding aid from a country who fail to respect human rights particularly when the UK government has used diplomacy to try and influence Ghana and has warned that failures to address human rights issues will lead to aid penalties – either we mean what we say or we do not. If the Ghanaian govt are reliant on our aid currently then it is their responsibility to either comply with human rights requirements or to reallocate other resources to ensure their people do not suffer.

        I would of course like to see support for Ghanaian LGBT groups, and I am sure that UK diplomacy has been seen to give such support and that Kaleidoscope and others will engage effectively to ensure LGBT people in Ghana are encouraged and supported.

  4. We need to withdraw Government aid to homophobic countries.

    1. So ignore the gay Ghanian and do as you want. This has nothing to do with helping gay foreigners.

      1. James!

        Are you feeling uncomfortable with your sitting on the fence?

        In a similar thread a few days ago you said aid was wrong and we should not give it, now because an LGBT person in Ghana has asked us not to stop aid – thats sufficient reason for us to give it??????

        We dont help gay people overseas if we do not influence the morality of the regime they live under.

        1. I did say trade not aid but you can’t just stop it and blame anti gay attitudes. Gay people will suffer

          1. Gay people will suffer anyway. I heard a Ugandan activist speak recently in Belfast and the biggest help she had was through Amnesty International giving them access to safe offices, safe spaces and protected internet access. If we can help them through these direct routes (instead of through their corrupt regimes) and put pressure on the budgets of the corrupt regimes in order to force them to comply with their Human Rights obligations then maybe we can achieve a more positive outcome. Whatever we do it will still not be pretty until attitudes change.

            There are other reports in the papers today of children being kidnapped in significant numbers to feed the need for human sacrifices by witch doctors in Uganda. Maybe they will concentrate on this real danger to their children rather than the myths they have succumbed to from the US Evangelicals. I somehow doubt it.

          2. Gay people will suffer if we continue to fail to challenge abuse of LGBT human rights in such countries

  5. michael in sydney 12 Oct 2011, 1:50pm

    I wonder if persecuting gblt humans is more important to them than the much needed money.

    1. I wonder if protectingGhanian LGBT people is more important that stopping aid?

  6. paul canning 12 Oct 2011, 1:56pm

    Mac-Darling is not the only concerned LGBT rights activist from the ‘global south’.

    See this lengthy story from yesterday which quotes people from around the world

    1. Great site. I have to rethink my position but I do wonder why we are asking “3rd world” countries to accept “1st world” attitudes

      1. We are suggesting they engage in universal attitudes not third or first world attitudes …

        Slavery was once acceptable in the UK, no longer (except arguably as fetish role play :-) ) …

        It is not just so called first world countries that have accepted universal suffrage, democracy and human rights as being universal but many countries that are developing to one extent or another.

        Purely because by accident of birth I was born in the UK does not mean I should be respected any more or less than if I was born in another country …

      2. We are asking them to abide by what they signed up to in the UN. They didn’t have to join the international community but they chose to as it gives them access to many benefits.

        1. Right on, Dave G., right on.

          1. are gay rights enshrined in the UN documents we signed up to? who even said gay rights are human rights. when the French were drafting the pioneering human rights documents, were there gay rights in there?

  7. There must be somekind of report that the UK is basing it’s decision on. Someone must be advising them that this is the way forward ie that they should only reward these countries with aid if they prove that they are moving towards better human rights for gay people. …I think just dishing out money without a threat that it will be withdrawn is wrong..I’m sure the UK and various other orgs will also use other methods as well to exert pressure but the threat of aid withdrawal should be used……Did the withdrawal of aid to Malawi have an effect?…Surely Malawi would be the example to look at whether it was a wise decision

  8. Nicole Hatch 12 Oct 2011, 2:46pm

    Don’t give these countries anything. Money is the only thing they understand and our best leverage to force them to change their behavior.
    I understand the fear GLBT people have of a backlash against but it seems to me things are about as bad as it can get for them. I say withhold any and all foreign aid until they comply with basic human rights.

  9. We from Ghana LGBTi community think this is not enough. Cutting down aid will not bring anything other than pain and anguish to the already polarised society or country and LGBTi people will be used as scapegoats for under development in our countries.

    “There should be support for LGBTi groups to conduct more education to get people to know and understand sexuality and gender diversity instead of aid cuts. The UK should lead the way by supporting LGBTi groups in these countries to organise more awareness programmes and talk shows to get the majority of the people to understand the issues of LGBTi rights.”

    He added: “We do not want to leave to Europe for asylum and so want to live here and improve the lives of our people here. We need more than just speeches.”

    A lot of the commentators do not care about Ghanian LGBT people. All they seem to care about is the money.

    1. Thanks for your concern but the citizens of Ghana have decided they they don’t care about aid from UK. We prefer our values to those of UK. You can check and read the comments. Keep your gay UK and we will keep our straight Ghana!! As for that Cobbinah dude, I am ashamed of him!! He is a disgrace to Ghana!!

  10. I’m going to sound really harsh now, and I apologise. I really do have sympathy for their plight, but that really isn’t the issue for me with this…

    The issue I have is we as a country have a limited fund of money to spend. Just like I personally have a limited fund for my household.

    In my household we buy free range chicken as we believe it to be a worthwhile industry to support, improving animal welfare and workers in that industry… We also buy fair trade products to help support devloping countries populations, again because we deem it worthwhile…

    As a country there are a lot of things worthwhile to spend our money on, both internally, and externally. We should spend it on things we deem worthwhile. I am not against foreign aid, far from it. But when you have a none homophobic country that needs aid, and a homophobic country that needs aid, and a limited fund, well… I know which I’d choose.

    It’s the same for any human rights issue, sex, religion, oritenation, whatever… A country that rates higher get’s the money – end of.

    Sorry, but that’s the way the world works – Money. And I see no reason why we should prop up a homophobic country and their populace when we’re cutting this and that left right and centre…

    It’s our money, and it’s time we spent it on what we believe in!

    1. I do agree, Nathan that all of our spending should be effective and efficient and given economic circumstances currently, justifiable …

      That could lead us to the conclusion that all international aid should be scrapped …

      Sometimes we have to consider that aid not only brings benefits to the recipient nation but also to the donor nation. The benefits to the UK of being a donor nation, aside from kudos etc, is in terms of trade, security and access to other resources.

      Some aid is worth continuing when times are tough because of the benefits they currently bring and will bring in the future.

    2. The bankers took a load more cash and kept all the QE stuff too. Start with those money loving cnuts first

  11. I don’t see why any of my tax money goes in aid to other countries TBH. I care for someone who has MS, and I can’t get a penny out of the government for anything, yet my tax money is helping someone in another country. If someone wants to give money to another country, they can donate to charities. Tax should be spent on those who pay it, those who live in the UK.

    1. I empathise with your views but I see aid as benefitting donor nation and recipient nation – so UK tax payers benefit from expenditure on international aid

  12. How much does Britain give in foreign aid each year, worldwide?

    I reckon we give money to many, many countries.

    British foreign aid will never resolve the recipient countries underlying problems – that requires reform of international trade laws (eg the US and Europe could stop subsidising their farmers and letting African farmers compete on an equal playing field) and governments rooting out corruption.

    Seeing as we cannot solve Africa’s problems, I see no problem in ceasing aid to homophobic countries, and increasing aid to more tolerant (and equally needy) countries.

  13. There is no sense in stopping a crying baby by throwing it out of the window with the bath water, so by stopping the funding aid to Ghana and other African nations would do little to quell the staunch heterosexism and rampant homophobia that has gripped the various countries that are entrenched in Judeo-Chrisitian religiousity that happens to be Ghana beloved new import, but rather decriminalizing homosexuality as a whole

    1. And continuing aid to places like Ghana doesn’t help them either.

      International aid has failed.

      How many billions has been poured into the continent over the decades, only to be squandered by the corrupt governments.

      British aid to Uganda should ONLY go to NGO’s who have clear non-discrimination policies. The governments of these African nations should not get a penny.

  14. Cambodia Guesthouse 13 Oct 2011, 4:19am

    Whilst I understand his concerns, what other options do we have? We have tried the ‘diplomatic approach’ and achieved very little.. Money is the only thing these corrupt politicians understand. Why should we continue to finance homophobic regimes/countries?

  15. Gay Daily Mail Reader 13 Oct 2011, 6:41am

    The argument that gay people will be scapegoated because foreign aid is stopped is similar to the argument that black people would suffer the most in Apartheid South Africa if sanctions were imposed and many South African blacks living under segregation did oppose sanctions. In the case of foreign aid the money is going to be squandered on luxuries for corrupt governments anyway. Watching a chat show hosted by Dr. David Starkey, a guest described foreign aid as redistributing money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries. The money could be better spent on giving asylum to suppressed gay people although they will have to show their gratitude by contributing to their host countries through work, etc.

    1. great. i like that. why not round up all the LGBT clique here in Ghana and then ship them off to the UK. Or the US can add a section to their lottery program indicating whether you are straight or otherwise and then let the LGBT win all the 55000 slots. then their rights would be respected.

  16. john dickens 13 Oct 2011, 9:09am

    It seems to me that many of the posters here need educating as much as politicians in the 3rd world. Mac Darling is not asking for aid to be snapped up by corrupt governments, but assistance in educating the population, something he has been doing for years, at great personal cost. He points out that LGBT people do not want to seek asylum in Europe, but live a better life at home. Mr Cobbinah is not only concerned with Gay rights, but Human rights, and has tirelessly promoted AIDS education. He deserves a hearing.

    1. LGBT Africans are not going to enjoy a better life at home until their governments stop stealing from the entire populations.

      I support the removal of ALL trade barriers hampering African nations (EU and US subsidies to their own farmers being the main barrier preventing Africa competing).

      International aid to African nations then needs to cease entirely (except when it comes to famine relief and treatment of treatable diseases such as Aids.)

  17. Government aid is just robbing the poor of the first world to give to the rich of the third or second world . So cutting it doesn’t really effect the lives ofd most Ghanans . I not speaking from ignorance but from over 25 years of a happy life in “third” world countries .Like most Gay people I think that Bringing Gay issues to the forefront of politics is basically a good idea but I acknowledge that it it does cause suffering . Either way and in everyway Ghanan Gays should put there trust and prayers in the one true God and not in the machiculations of government !

    1. mmm… the one true God.

      That would be Ganesh? Allah? Yaweh?

  18. I would say the best thing to do to protect gays and save money would be to use some of the saved cash to deliver a campaign highlighting why this money is being reduced and that retaliatory action would mean it cut altogether, so the Ghanan public are made very aware of why their money is being stopped.

    And please don’t feel that the public are being held accountable for their governments stance. Ghanan public opinion is very much against LGBT, seen as a western disease and in-African. The government is simply reflecting this.

    1. i didn’t know that your sense of reasoning was that low. u think you can influence the conscience of an African nation with money? Bob Marley said “you can fool some people sometime but you can’t fool all the people all the time.” this idiocy by the leader of the UK should even be the alarm to warn us to grow self-reliant and not continue to rely on your tainted aid.

  19. Before beg money from the WEST Ghanian should respect every single indivdual straight or a gay. Respect human rights.

    1. We respect human rights in Ghana. What we don’t do is allow certain behaviours that are against our moral values. We don’t need your gay aid. Take it and go!!!

  20. Fellow honourable and noble citizens of Ghana, before I put forward my submission, I must be emphatic that I’m doing so without any prejudice. I fully respect the laws of our land. I also love all gays and lesbians as individuals – but not the act of homosexuality.

    What are talking about here – that Cameron is threatening to withhold UK aid to anti-gay nations. That is: nations that do not legalize homosexuality.

    I see this move by Cameron to be very hypocritical, insulting and an affront unto the territorial integrity and sovereignty of these nations in question – of which Ghana is part.

    The 1956 Sexual Offences Act of UK strictly bans prostitution.
    And under the UK sexual offences Act 2003, ” it is an offence to cause or incite prostitution or control it for personal gain.

    Doesn’t it sound ironical that “intimacy” between the opposite sex is being banned in the UK, while that between the same sex (homosexuality) is being endorsed under the same “context of societal perversion”?

    1. I am with you! They can take their gay aid away!! God bless our homeland Ghana and make our nation great and strong…and help us to resist oppressors’ rule with all our will and might forevermore!

      1. Jock S. Trap 5 Nov 2011, 4:27pm

        Pathetic! You clearly have little regard for human life.

    2. Jock S. Trap 5 Nov 2011, 4:29pm

      Not bitter of course….

      Human rights affect us all not just those who chose a religion lifestyle.

  21. the best Camoron could have done was find a more appealing way to push for those recognitions rather than threaten aid cuts. asking someone to do something he does not believe in (and does not see to be natural and acts totally against his culture) for money is pure blackmail. and i see that to be stupid and naive on Cameron and those who lobbied for this. there are several way of killing a cat and he should have known that.

  22. Jock S. Trap 5 Nov 2011, 4:27pm

    It’s quite simple then, improve human rights for all including the LGBT community and we’ll carry on with the aid if not it’ll go to the people direct.

    Time to stop sending funds to corrupt governments.

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