funny that they are not reacting to the ex-colonial laws they are quite happy to perpetuate… hypocrites!
Quite, but they conveniently forgot the colonials imposed those laws. Whilst we’re at it wasn’t Christianity brought over by the colonial missionaries, since they’re rejecting ex-colonial influence?
Yes, funny how they’re quite content to cling to [their versions of] Christianity, isn’t it?
Uganda is 80% Christian but it isn’t just the indigenous version of christianity that keeps the pot boiling regarding repressive anti-gay legislation and practices. American evangelical preachers have been going there to encourage this – also they are supplying funds.
The detrimental influence of American evangelicals in Uganda cannot overstated.
they should be treated like little hitlers. Do them in before its too late. And the American extremist xtians who are behind this bill.
If they’re not children, stop giving them pocket money and let them earn their own.
The biggest ruse of all is that somehow the UK can just write off places like Africa as so many are advocating.
Africa is the wealthiest country in the world in terms of natural resources- gold, diamonds, oil, minerals etc. And most of it has not even been tapped yet. Foreign Aid is how the first world gets their foot in the door to exploit those minerals for all those cell phones, iPads etc.
So, by all means, write off your access to Africa. China is waiting in the wings and they don’t really care what the human rights conditions are there. Actually, neither does the USA. The Queen knows this and is FIGHTING to keep England relevant. You are not even thinking of your own country if you think it can survive without the African wealth that built it up.
So perhaps forging alliances, working WITH the gay people on the ground on the third world, understanding the culture and what can be done to truly change it and being a little less arrogant and more innovative in your approach might serve you AND your country better since you are not the Superpower anymore and the Commonwealth is struggling to keep up with more powerful and influential global groups.
The UK is not writing of Africa (which is a continent of 54 nations).
The UK has readily demonstrated its willingness to support encouragement of trade in Africa and significant international aid (both emergency and developmental).
The UK has said it expects countries whose government it gives aid to, to meet certain basic human rights standards. Those countries have a choice and they can either improve their human rights record or not receive UK aid. I suspect other nations will follow the UK lead on linking aid to human rights.
The UK has supplied international aid in tens to hundreds of ,millions to each of the following nations for many years:
Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan*, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, …
…Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
The UK government has clearly stated the excellent work done in Mozambique and South Africa to improve, legislatively, human rights and that it is keen to support that becoming clearer in the day to day lives of citizens.
Far from the UK, writing off Africa. The UK is keen to play a part in supporting and developing Africa. This has to be lead by Africans. There is no contradiction in that meaning that the UK as an aid donor can not stipulate certain conditions of basic human rights as prerequisite for the aid to be continued.
* = South Sudan was supported both through aid to Sudan and through UN led aid prior to the countries independence
They can complain about being lectured all they want…so long as they still receive my tax dollars in aid then they obviously could still use a few lessons on how to properly run a country.
Fred: It isn’t just to benefit them. The UK will want and get a return on its investments.
If you found a charity was abusing its staff or clients, you would stop donating? That may be regardless of whether you were a client of benefited in some way from the charities work …
Aid is very similar …
Fine. Don’t want to play by the rules, no more money. I honestly could not care less about old colonial commonwealth countries. My money is good enough for them, my very gay, very much liking other women, money is good enough. Damn their hypocrisy, we should wash out hands of them for good.
Since religion – mainly evangelical Christian or Muslim – is totally dominant and influential in so many Commonwealth countries, It is highly unlikely that they will become gay-friendly in the forseeable future.
If they don’t want to play in the playground, then why should we share with them ….
If they want to be grown up, we will be grown up and share with them …
I am very surprised UK and it’s David Cameron don’t get it that Ghana is a sovereign country! What are you waiting for, CUT THE AID and put your expatriate workers in Ghana out of jobs. Hurry about it. Do you know who the biggest trade partner is now in Africa?…..CHINA! So UK is now so desperate that it has resorted to the tactics of a weakling……Blackmail.
1) The Government hasn’t said it will cut aid, merely route it away from the Government – ie Homophobic politiciamns won’t be able tu influence how it’s spent.
2) Do you really think that China has any basis for trade other than their own good?
China usually has many clauses in its investments much to the benefit of China and sucking ownership and profits from the ventures out of the country where the “investment” occurs.
UK aid aims to support local businesses to become grounded and retain their profits so they can organically grow. Our aid conditions are more about humanity and fairness, business sense (in favour of local businesses) and transparency than about routing profits away from the country.
If breaching human rights is so important, let the Chinese suck you dry.
Stu: Sorry Stu. I do not believe the UK is such a benevolent, altruisitic benefactor. No-one invests in another coutnry without expecting a return on that investment. That’s capitalism and the UK is just as profit hungry as the Chinese.
I do believe that the UK are more altruistic and benevolent than the Chinese.
There are significant numbers of documented cases of China sucking dry certain industries they seek to stimulate, in various African countries.
Yes, UK businesses do benefit from aid to some countries (although not all).
For example, there are few British firms in DRC Congo – but the UK ploughs millions of aid into the country each year.
@Asanteba better start learning Chinese.
Blackmail eh, how does that feel then. Like it? Your Jesus junky friends are doing it everyday to you own countrymen.
If you didnt care about our aid, then you wouldnt be so vitriolic in your response …
The reality is that the UK feel we have a right to uphold the UN convention of human rights and expect other nations whom we give aid to (and potentially trade with) to comply to international obligations …
You fail to comply with common decency, fairness, equality and transparency then you lose our aid and business.
The differential in terms of trade is much in these “sovereign countries” favour currently due to aid and trade linked to aid. These figures will deteriorate without the aid and investment that the UK has provided.
China may be a big investor in many parts of Africa, but UK aid is influential in the region and it is disingenuous to suggest otherwise.
There are plenty of other countries that will welcome our aid and support human rights and where we can increase our funding and support their economies further eg SA/Mozambique
Fine, don’t have our aid … if you bigoted “moral” values are so important to you …
Its not blackmail, its trying to seek human rights … if you can’t see that – personally I would rather you and your government dont have my taxes …
Demanding better human rights for all who seek aid is nothing to do with blackmail but everything to do with making this world a better place.
If you, through your chosen religions, choose to deny others a decent life just because of the way they were born you cannot really blame other for taking the lead on your behalf.
Act better to prove humanity, help those poor souls who get beaten, raped just because they are Lesbian/Gay in your country, stop those being killed because they are Lesbian/Gay in your country. Improve humanity for all law abiding, tax paying citizens and the rules of humanity may become safe in your hands but while you act in a immature way, with such disregard for the life of others, stop whinging that others are doing it for you.
Idiot Cameron should know that this would backfire. Gays will be blamed for this, and will be made scapegoats. Punitive sanctions never work, and he will only end up encouraging anti gay, extreme nationalist sentiment in these countries, which will cause further pain to the LGBTs.
RTM: Absolutely correct. I also wonder why Cameron is pitching to LGBT people. I suggest this is for domestic consumption to secure the LGBT vote or am I being unduly cynical? After all they are trailing behind labour. It might have been better to have a more low key approach and ask LGBT groups in those countries where there are any what they want us to do. This hammer-headed, bullish approach can only increase pressure on LGBT people.
I agree it’s not about African LGBT wellbeing. Tatchell did the same thing with the stop murderr music campaign. He said if a few LGBT Jamaicans die it will be a price worth paying. Black LGBT people have no “value” in this world
Well I don’t know much about domestic British politics, since I’m from India, but the fact that my comment has been rated so poorly is much proof that Western gays don’t know sh*t about the queer movement beyond their continent, and nor do they care. I am sorry to generalize, but that’s what I feel is true. There can be no one pill suits all, one size fits all approach to gay rights. The queer world is itself very very large and diverse, so its best to have a bottom-up approach to LGBT rights, understanding from local experiences, instead of a top-down approach which seems to be what many are proposing.
People: With this attitude, please stop pretending that you really care for LGBT rights in the global south.
Few interesting blog posts for deep thinking people:
I’m guessing you don’t know much about life nor humanity either.
You make a very good point there. African LGBT groups exist. They represent the people who will be affected by anti-homophobia measures. They represent the people who Dave and chums are supposedly trying to help.
So why in the bloody hell did none of them ever bother to canvass any of these groups on how to tackle these very complex issues?
Well, same reason why Dave and chums never converse with anyone their policies will affect anyway. They don’t give a crap. They just want to look tough, punish some “crimmos” and boost votes from LGBTs. Same thing over and over again.
How would this nasty cynic do things differently? Well, first, I would actually speak to African LGBT groups. That’s the first step that should have been taken before going any further, and it’s such an obvious step that a child could have suggested it.
Well done RTM
the people red arrowing these comments just go to show that the LGBT community in the UK does not give a damn about you just the money
Well thats not the reason I have red arrowed the few comments that I have chosen to red arrow
So which tools should Cameron use to try and encourage LGBT rights in other countries …
He has tried diplomacy …
He has tried UN routes …
We only have so many sticks to use, and this is one of them….
I am not a Conservative, but I congratulate Cameron on this dignified and moral stance
and, punitive sanctions have worked in the past … not always … but in some situations they have (its those situations where they did not work that is more obvious), where sanctions have worked tend to be forgotten about …
I think you should try some empathy. Imagine you were in these countries then suddenly you become visible as it’s seen as your fault that the contry is being penalised. How do you imagine that feels? and would you want to be in that position?
Having met gay people in Uganda, I have every sympathy
It is because of this sympathy that I endorse entirely the tactics that the UK government are taking in trying to influence change.
Doing nothing, is no longer an option
Who said anything about ‘punitive’? Its equally possible to ensure that money is spent in positive ways – its not just about withdrawing Aid – its about ensuring its spent wisely in ways that encourage & support Human Rights work (including LGBT work)
Don’t see how trying to advance human rights can backfire. prehaps you’d be better targeting the corrupt governments you seem to want to make excuses for.
The Commonwealth countries in question need to realise that nothing is forcing the UK to make donations, so it is hardly imperialism when the UK doesn’t make a donation.
I seem to recall that these same countries were all in favour of sanctions against certain other ex-colonies on African soil. I refer to the Republic of South Africa under apartheid, and the Republic of Rhodesia.
That is where you are wrong.
Foreign aid is a ruse to get advantegeous access to the vast mineral wealth of third world countries. The UK would be in dire straits if not for the wealth Africa provides. You sir, have been duped by the colonialist/capitalist machine. There is a reason you do not pay the TRUE cost for your gadgets, food, furniture etc. It can be gotten cheaply and/or unfairly from the third world using child labor and working with despotic, violent regimes.
Foreign aid is the biggest first world PR scam in the world and could never make up for exploitation with impunity past and the exploitation that is still taking place today because of our consumerist culture.
It’s time for England to stand up and state VERY clearly that THEY imported homophobia into these colonies, NOT homosexuality. It’s time to put this oft told lie to bed that homosexuality is an import from the West and Europe. Homosexuality already existed in every single one of the countries when England invaded them. In many of the countries it was celebrated (ie India) so the British imported their homophobic laws to crack down on homosexuality and its acceptance.
It’s time for England to invest in an education campaign to try to undo some of the damage that they did with their anti-gay laws and customs. She needs to show some of the historical evidence of some of these countries’ pre-colonial cultures and how colonization imposed anti-gay WESTERN values upon them.
Homosexuality was celebrated in India when the British started taking over? Where?
I must go an re-read the history books, because I can’t recall anywhere that celebrated homosexuality in India being recorded
I think there’s some evidence of homosexual activity in the Khajuraho temple sculptures, now defaced, but they long predate the British takeover as the Mughals intervened – and they might have turned a blind eye to certain homosexual activity but I don’t think they can be said, as a general rule, to have celebrated it.
I wonder why the Khajuraho temples sculptures were defaced and by whom…
I don’t know about India (although I do remember seeing a documentary on BBC4 which said something like that) But the Zapoteco tribe in Mexico has a very long history of being supportive of gay people, which it retains despite the country’s strong catholicism…
Shame Mexico isn’t in the Commonwealth, then!
Havent you heard of the Kama Sutra?
I have, but I can’t say I know to what degree this 2nd-century AD guide to life was influential in Mughal India at the time the British took over, nor the degree to which it celebrates homosexuality.
Well said Hayden
An indescribable injustice that tax money earned by Gay people is going to countries which murder and persecute Gay people. We may as well be there ourselves working the gallows. Indeed inequality in our own country is made even more unjust by the fact we, Gay people, must pay the same taxes as everyone else but only be accorded second class citizenship through inequality….wtf!!!
“……Commonwealth nations should not be treated like “children”.
Then don’t behave like children.
Eugene, that’s not a bad idea at all. We were able to learn English so why not Chinese? Did EU learn Chinese before going to China for bail out?
Yawn. You’ve got issues. Sort your head out.
Fortunately the UK is not part of the Euro zone, so that comment has no relevance to UK aid …
As for where the UK economy is compared to Ghana … perhaps the fact that the UK is giving Ghana aid (currently) puts things into a bit of perspective
so you haven’t responded to my point. Sour grapes I think. You and your friends don’t like to be told you may not bully and be violent to your gay citizens and get Aid from us. It’s not blackmail it’s consequences, Asanteba. Please do go to the Chinese and throw yourselves on their mercy. They should start plowing their cash into the gaping whole of Ghana, instead of the west. And when you’re sufficiently ingratiated they will show you how merciful and gracious they really are. quite like you I expect.
beg your pardon was your country Uganda? same applies
I am with you Asanteba!! Our president has already made his stance clear! No homosexuality in Ghana! Keep your gay UK aid and we will keep our straight Ghana! Shameless people!!
Only the lowest of human beings think they have the right to exclude other because of the way they are born.
Your comments are borderline racist but mostly pathetic.
Guess what Some Africans are gay too…. Get over it.
I feel desperately sorry for not only gay Ugandans but intelligent ones of all sexualities – it must be so profoundly embarrassing to have such fools in positions of power.
Last time I was in Kampala, I was speaking to a police officer and a lawyer over lunch and they said that whilst their duty was to uphold the countries laws, they were embarrassed that Uganda were perceived internationally as Christian fascists (their words) who were determined to embark on a campaign similar to N@ziism (their words) against non Christians and homosexuals. They said they welcomed international trade and aid, but wished to see pressure put on their government to adopt fair and transparent policies for all of their citizens.
Desperate times demand desperate measures.
It’s obvious that gay rights activists in African countries have been completely incapable of influencing their political leaders and advancing human rights.
That much is really quite obvious.
Now that conditions to foreign aid have been mentioned by the Commonwealth, these gay rights activists react by saying that they will be further persecuted by their homophobic fellow countrymen, but how else could they react without throwing gasoline on the fire?
In their place I would react the same way if for no other reason than to avoid flying in the faces of human rights abusers.
Gay rights activists in Africa likely welcome this attempt by the Commonwealth to undo the harm done in colonial days, and they do well to keep a low profile for the moment, while other organizations who rely on foreign aid demand necessary changes in favor of human rights.
“It’s obvious that gay rights activists in African countries have been completely incapable of influencing their political leaders and advancing human rights.”
Very true! And the fact nobody is even interested in discussing WHY this has been so (1) Lack of resources (2) Religiously enslaved, mostly uneducated populace (3) Infiltration by WELL FUNDED anti-gay rhetoric from the USA (4) Cultural attitudes regarding masculinity, particularly as it pertains to the ideal of the post colonial African male (5) The importance of family and continuation of children (as so many die of AIDS, poverty, disease)
It is laughable you think all of these influencers will go away just because a law is passed. Perhaps no policemen will be able to arrest a known gay person anymore but they can incite abuse and villagers can still beat them up and the leaders can just turn a blind eye and say, “What can I do!” while still using subtle homophobic sentiments to win votes.
I see no mention of actually giving support to the gay people on the ground to help them in their struggle to tackle these issues whether or not the law is changed.
Donor countries do have the right to impose conditions to aid, and if the Commonwealth wants to remain relevant – which it does – then this is the time to attach more strings to foreign aid, as Cameron said.
There will necessarily be organizations in recipient countries who dislike this move and who still want the funding.
They are the ones who should now pressure their governments to take the necessary action.
It would be premature to call the people in power “Fools” they know precisely what they are doing http://jessiegirl.blogspot.com/2010/11/exploiting-homophobia-to-exploit-africa.html and why it works for them.
They also know your first world, consumerist societies are addicted to “Stuff” http://www.youtube.com/storyofstuffproject#p/u/0/9GorqroigqM
and the only way you can get the raw materials for the latest stuff is from the third world. And your corporations would prefer not to have to pay FULL PRICE for it to be sourced fairly, organically, humanely, greenly.
So until the Capitalist/Consumerist model changes, the third world despotic leaders hold all the cards. That is why they can afford to play this game of “Chicken” with the Commonwealth, especially since China is more than willing to do business with ANYONE, inhumane or not and when it comes to gays, the US Neo-Conservatives don’t really a fart either.
Oh, they’re clever all right, and shrewd, but they seldom encourage confidence in their intelligence, hence ‘fools’. Fools and buffoons can frequently lead countries, think of Mussolini.
[In passing, and I know it's a small point, but the reason people no longer really speak of the Third World is because the Communist bloc no longer exists as such therefore there is no Second World either. "Developing world" makes more sense these days.]
Stop to rely on us then we stop telling you what to do.
If they want to be part of the “club” and earn pocket money, then they follow the rules of civilised societies by not breeding like flies, following human rights and trying to avoid hacking each other to bits with machetes.
When did sodomizing fecal passages become civilized behaviour?
I suppose scat is also a sign of higher civilization too !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You tell us, Keith, since you’re very clearly the one on here who;s most obsessed with scat and faecal passages. Do you consider yourself civilised? (I’d guess most of here don’t, but then you’re unlikely to be concerned with what we think, eh?)
“A Ugandan presidential official, John Nagenda, told the BBC his country was “tired of these lectures” and that the Commonwealth nations should not be treated like “children”.
Well dear, as my old mother used to say…. ‘If you don’t want to be treated like a child, then stop acting like one!’
These morons are not ‘tired’ of accepting our money though are they?
I think it’s perfectly fair as we are doing the paying, that WE can insist they behave like real human beings.. Or we stop paying… simple choice I think..
That is a stupid thing to say to a Ugandan who is saying “We’re making progress down here, this bill isn’t going to pass unless you rile people up by making them feel like they’re being threatened .”
I’m at a loss to see signs of progress in Uganda.
You’re going to see regress if you keep this up.
Would that be regress at a greater rate than at present or much the same?
To be fair, I don’t think it can regress much further
I love the way how so many of these nations think the money we give in aid is a fundamental right. Its not, its a gift from the British peoples including our nations LGBT people. Nobody is stopping them leaving the commonwealth and refusing our aid.
If you rely on handouts you have to expect the odd lecture and kick up the arse now and again.
Certainly cutting aid would penalize and shame the Government but unfortunately it would also penalize the gay and lesbian people in that country and hurt little children too. We are STILL not addressing the problem holistically. A deep, cultural and religious shift away from homophobia needs to take place. Like all false fears, this one is rooted in IGNORANCE and FALSEHOOD. We need OUR ambassadors on the ground (just like those deceitful American evangelicals sent their hatemongering troops to whip up the hate) to foster knowledge, understanding and common ground. We don’t have to start with Uganda and Nigeria. We can start with the less vitriolic countries, places like Barbados, Trinidad, Saint Lucia. After cultural and legislative transformation happens, we can work our way to more challenging territories. And rather than penalties, INCENTIVES should be offered to countries who decriminalize and establish policies of zero tolerance for discrimination or violence against gay people (if population control, HIV control is not incentive enough) One such incentive is TOURISM. Look at Nepal and India. They enjoyed MILLIONS in pink tourist dollars this year! Even with the homophobia, my Caribbean is so breathtaking and can be such a great place, with genuinely warm, down-to-earth, fun, party people and I know my foreign gays and lesbians would LOVE it if only it were more tolerant and they could feel safe being themselves.
The International Development Secretary and Cameron have been at pains to point out they would endeavour to find ways of re-routing aid to the relevant countries to ensure aid bypassed government but got to the people who needed it most.
Which is great. Does not solve gays and lesbians being especailly targetted for retribution for being “the cause” of the problem as one African human rights spokesperson feared.
Associating gays and lesbians with added benefits instead of penalities would help a lot on the ground.
With respect, they already tried persuasion for many years, it has not worked.
The government support Kaleidoscope who work with LGBT groups on the ground.
I think witholding aid, redirecting aid and supporting organisations such as Kaleidoscope are reasonable and practical steps for HMG to take with regards being persuasive to other sovereign governments to improve their human rights records (including LGBT rights). To be fair, whilst the media have focussed on the LGBT element of the withholding or redirecting of aid, it is being linked to human rights across many strands – not just LGBT.
Exactly… it’s a question universal human rights.
1) Remove the aid.
2) Offer aid if they are nice to gay people (INCENTIVE).
3) Withhold aid until they are nice to gay people.
Your comment is very juvenile and laughable. You seem to be confusing human beings with monkeys. It DOESN’T work that way. Ask any sociologist!
Right. we are not dealing with mice in an experiment.
I completely disagree. People are monkeys, and these people are even closer than most.
Carrots and sticks have been standard educational principles for hundreds of years, because they work.
If the government was serious about anti-gay discrimination, most of the conservative politicians would be in jail right now. With its zero track record on gay equality, the government has no political capital to lecture other governments…
Back in your fantasy world that may be true
This coalition government has moved further on LGBT issues in under 2 years than the labour govt before did in their first term
No need to dream. The evidence is here matey. Aid is being stopped that was for many years forthcoming under Labour governments who weren’t so bothered what these homophobic regimes were up to.
You can romanticise all you like about the heady years of Labour mis-rule, but its very interesting to see how much is getting done since they imploded.
Absolutely, Sister Mary Clarence
Whilst I am very grateful for the changes that labour did bring such as equalisation of the age of consent, pension rights, equality of access to goods and services, recognition of hate crimes etc; they failed to address the link there can be between our obligations to human rights and our aid budget, they failed to pursue equal marriage, they failed to address the concerns about blood donation, they failed to remove historic convictions of importuning etc from the criminal record database, they failed to address concerns about LGBT asylum seekers and many more issues …
All of the areas I have addressed are areas the coalition have or are in the process of addressing …
A coalition with Conservatives as the senior partner …
Beberts, prefers to ignore all this and live in the past …
Evidence of what? How much has been done? A lot of hot air has been released and already dissipated. Two years on, and this government has yet to do materialise anything in relation to sexual orientation equality. Everything we’ve seen so far has been initiated by the previous government, and the present one is currently implementing a “back to the 80s” programme. Dream on.
Wrong. The prior government had not introduced all (or even most) of the policies that I list above (and that is not an exhaustive list of the coalitions achievements or policies that are signposted and en route)
I think aid should be cut in stages. For Northern Nigeria and their sharia-loving brethren it should be cut instantly (there the penalty is DEATH), and then gradually extend to those (largely African and Muslim) countries that have prison penalties as well.
Also there is the matter of countries that do not require aid from the UK because they are relatively well-off. So the threat of losing aid is like, “So what? We have oil, natural gas, tourism, the USA, Latin and South America, China etc?”
This is why I stress that incentives will work better. Everyone wants MORE even if they already have.
Sanctions eventually worked on South Africa and Rhodesia.
I suspect other countries may follow the UKs ethical stance on aid
That would be the next logical step.
Also, I expect courageous African MP’s, probably women, will come forward to support human rights.
It just requires one government to take a courageous lead, to encourage other governments to follow suit and local campaigners and politicians to be encouraged to raise their volume
“You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it.”- Albert Einstein
The current homophobia in many of these ex-colonial territories happened by draconian enforcement of British imperatives (religious and legislative) without first understanding the heritage and culture of the people and working WITH it bring about a more equitable transition into a Western society.
If you hope to now solve the homophobia with the EXACT same arrogant attitudes and EXACT same methodology …good luck with that.
As a sexual minority who actually lives in a Commonwealth territory with anti-gay laws (Trinidad and Tobago) I would strongly recommend getting a better cultural, social, historical understanding of where the homophobia comes from , forging alliances with the gay and lesbian community in these territories, enabling THEM to fight and work together to develop more innovative, holistic and permanent solutions.
But I’m just a little old third world, black lesbian, what do I know right.
These countries haven’t been colonies for 40+ years. They have had ample time to tackle any homophobic “legacy”. That they haven’t shows they WANT to continue the discrimination and in the case of places like Uganda and Nigeria, WORSEN it. They want to carry on like that, fine, but don’t expect my gay money to fund it.
Oh yeah?? Then why did your country take more than 500 years to get rid of the Buggery laws?? You can’t first destroy a (tolerant) culture and then wash your hands off it!
But equally just because our change was relatively recent, does not mean we lack any sense of moral fibre when asking others to adopt human rights …
Foreign aid to these nasty squalid kleptocracies should be stopped immediately. And restored only as – and if –
they show a move towards civilised behaviour and, bluntly, a bit of respect towards the donor countries.
Human rights are blind to culture, ethnicity, orientation etc …
So whilst it is very interesting to know more about cultures etc, the fact remains whichever culture you are in – you are human, and deserve to be treated with fairness, integrity and be afforded basic human rights …
Having learned about some African cultures, it did not change my perception that people in the two countries I was involved in needed their rights to be protected …
I gained a great deal from learning about the culture, and it made me realise both how fortunate I am, and how much I miss by being predominantly from a different culture. It did not change my views about universal rights.
Don’t believe you are who you say you are. The current wave of homophobia has been generated by American evangelicals scaring people into a frenzy about an imagined gay agenda.
I am exactly who I say I am. A black, Caribbean lesbian living in the heart of the struggle with my white partner of 14 years. This is my blog: http://jessiegirl.blogspot.com
I know what it is like here on the ground where I am and I can clearly see those sitting in comfort over in more gay tolerant places have no clue.
It’s so sad that, when the people who are actually affected speak out and say “this isn’t going to work, we need a new approach”, the immediate reaction is “silly Third Worlders, us First Worlders know what’s best!”. As you say, that’s exactly what caused these problems in the first place, and it’s exactly what’s going to stop them getting solved now.
Whilst I do have some sympathy with your views, Pumpkin Pie – I wonder what else Cameron and the UK were supposed to do.
There has been calm and sustained diplomacy both unilateral by the UK and with other nations and organisations to try and persuade various nations to improve their human rights record. This attempt at persuasion failed.
So the options are a) do something, b) wash our hands of the problem
I think we would all accept we need to do something.
So the question is what? Diplomacy hasnt worked. Encouragement via the aid scheme to promote human right hasnt worked. So, in what way can we influence a nation. I can not see anyone using military action against a country to force it to decriminalize homosexuality, so the next option is sanctions, removal of aid or other economic tool.
The UK can not be seen (either by its own people) or internationally as taking no moral and ethical stance on human rights. This demonstrates us taking a stand.
I fail to see arrogant attitudes in the Commonwealth.
I have my doubts. independence means exactly that and there comes a point where responsibility has to be taken for oneself. Having said all that, Jessie, I am genuinely interested in some good source material on the origins and reasons for the extreme homophobia in for example the Commonwealth Caribbean. I am sure all readers could benefit from that. Thanks.
Maybe it would be productive to raise with America the fact that it is sending over evangelicals who are stirring up this homophobia, as well as taking money out of the pockets of those we are sending aid to, in the huge sums they charge them to attend their rallies.
The State Department knows about it, I’ve made sure of that
I am wondering, why didn’t Cameron apologize for the Commonwealth’s anti gay laws during the summit? By not furnishing an apology for imposition of sodomy laws during colonial era (which Hon’ble Justice Kirby has rightly called a very British problem), he has shown that his attempts to seek recognition of gay rights in the Commonwealth are actually quite dishonest.
I have always wondered why it is appropriate for a current government to apologise for the actions of governments decades before them.
Cameron has apologised for his personal views having needed to be changed. He has apologised for some of the recent history of his party. I do not see how he can be held to account for actions decades or centuries ago. He can regret them, but he has nothing personally to apologise for …
Imagine Stu, if I were to come to your home, bind you to a chair, beat you till you were half dead, destroy all your furniture, loot all your belongings, leave, and then a month later come back and scold you over the broken furniture, how would you feel??
UK needs to apologize to its former colonies for oppressing the human rights (of gays and straights) for the same reason as Australia has apologized to its aboriginal population. Human rights abuses can never be erased or forgotten, so the best that one can do is forgive. But in order to forgive, the offender first needs to apologize. I am sure even a child can understand that.
Cameron in particular, needs to apologize on the behalf of his nation, though he personally has nothing to apologize for. I highly doubt he ever would, as it would affect British pride, thus costing him precious votes.
If he does appologise does that mean the former colonies will shut up and stop abusing their own people, because they finally realise the laws that the now defunct British empire left behind were infact unjust and ridiculous, just like… The British Empire.
If they want an apology then fine I hope someone gives it to them, the government or the monarch, but once they get it can they please wake up and realise that they are in charge of their own bloody country.
A somewhat weak arguement that somehow lets off the current offenders of oppressive countries. Don’t see how a 21st Century government can apologise for something down or contributed to a couple of centuries ago. What we need is leadership, someone to take the lead forward not keep dragging heals in the past. Nothing good comes from that.
I am British.
I abhor what some the Empire building and some Colonials did in the name of my nation.
I feel no responsibility for those wrong acts that ancestors did.
If I feel no responsibility – how can I apologise and mean it?
I did wonder about that too.
Peter Tatchell did propose that, and PinkNews did run the story.
I remember thinking how well David Cameron could have carried that off, and how it would have influenced the Commonwealth summit in a most positive way.
He didn’t apologise because we need to go forward not backwards and it would do nothing but make excuses and give blame when the only people to blame are those that carry on enforcing homophobia over all these decades and centuries.
it is about time we support the good and make the bad pay. the same goes with my pink money i do not spend it on homophobic counties
so keep your “pink” money. We don’t want want it!!!
Flashmob in Kampala!
Yeah! Outside David Bahiti’s house!
At Last, Welcome news, directed toward these bigot countries. STOP all Funding, until these dangerous, bullies, tortures,rapists, killers, so called leaders grant Equal Rights to ALL. Our lesbian/gay, sisters and brothers, to long have suffered. Seems as though hitting, their deep money grabbing pockets, just might get their attention. Shameful loss of funds is the only action, these dangerous bigots fear. NO MORE MONEY!!!!!
I am no fan of the Tories.
However here they are showing the way.
Lets hope more governments follow the British example.
I hope the US joins in. Then tin pot human rights abusing countries cannot say its ex colonial masters telling them what o do.
I am very pleased that human rights and gay rights were raised so high on the agenda at this CHOGM. in that the Secretry General was right. This was a landmark CHOGM. Hopefully there are sporting boycotts that can be used. Find these nations equivalent of the Springboks.
I am so glad the world is getting an idea of the gay community in the UK. If you’re not white don’t bother coming here
That is a false and cynical exploitation of the UK policy
There are many black people in the UK who are very happy and well settled in the UK
How many gay muslims or sikhs?
It’s better they know now before comming here expecting utopia.
Rather be gay in Britain than gay in Saudi Arabia, Uganda, Russia, Soloman Islands, Pakistan, North Korea, Ghana etc etc
It may not be perfect – but we are improving slowly and surely …
some people of course do continue to whine that we are oppressed and we have no human rights – I say to them, try living in Pyongyang for a year as a gay man …
How many gay muslims or sikhs? You know, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more openly gay muslims and sikhs in the UK than in the SubContinent, though much would depend on how you define ‘open’.
let me ask you guys a question. is polygamy not a crime in your country? has any African leader told your rulers to legalise polygamy? please stop insulting us. you have your moral values and we have ours. after coming to Africa disguised as missionaries, stealing our resources and taking our brothers and sisters away as slaves, you guys are back with another form colonialism. take your aid away! we will survive just like we did before the disguised thieves came!!!
Fine. Don’t accept the aid then. And, while you’re at it, please don’t forget that Europeans weren’t the only people who traded in slaves (your “brothers and sisters”), the last overt slave market in the world continued functioning, I believe, in Ghana till 1912.
The Commonwealth is promoting universal human rights, Mr. Gaddafi.
There is nothing immoral about human rights, and gay rights are human rights.
Rehan, there’s no need to argue over this matter. The president of my country made his stance clear this morning. Cameron can keep his gay UK and we will keep our straight Ghana! You are not even ashamed of yourselves! Homosexuality, something that the dogs in my village do! Filthy and nasty!!!
Jonpol, did you say human rights?! Cameron is infringing on the rights of Africans by imposing his ideas on us! Don’t tell me that because we are black we can’t think for ourselves. If that is the case, then Cameron is also a racist! We will not accept it! “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”. Ghanaian national anthem…
Mr Cameron is giving you a choice – either comply with universal human rights or we dont give you aid – there is a choice … a similar choice I expect many other nations to give to you soon …
No one has said black people can’t think for themselves you hysterical lunatic.
Stu, i agree that we were given a choice. The nation of Ghana has decided that we will keep our values and remain straight. We will not let a foreigner dictate to us because of ‘aid’. Long live Ghana!!!
Joss, who is a lunatic?! You or me? If my memory serves me right, I read in a psychology text book that homosexuality was once considered a mental disorder. The funny thing is that it is still a mental disorder! Even the dogs in my village don’t do it!
Frankly, the backlash to universal human rights in Africa started long before the Commonwealth summit last weekend in Australia, and you know it.
The choice is simple really.
Homophobic countries of the Commonwealth can EITHER have a twenty-first century conversation about morality and human well-being which would include all the scientific insights and philosophical arguments that have accumulated in the last two thousand years of human discourse, OR confine themselves to a first century conversation as it is preserved in the Bible.
Why would anyone want to take the latter approach?
Human rights involve us all and if countries like the UK have to take the lead in promoting humanity against barbaric people like you and your dictators then so be it. So long as you act immorally against humainty you can only expect others to correct your behaviour. Sadly you are plentiful but luckily not all people in your country is as small and pathetically minded to limit humanity to the gutter. Shame you’ll never see it.
@Gaddafi: If Ghana is such a wonderful place, why are all your fellow countrymen banging on UK’s front door pleading to be let in?
Also, why do you name yourself after a tyrannical Libyan dictator?
Excellent point and one no doubt that will be ignored to suit.
Homosexuality, something that the dogs in my village do! Filthy and nasty!!!
Male and female dogs don’t mate in your wee village then? Do you find that ‘filthy and nasty’ too? Idiot.
Given what I have seen of that diseased infested hell you call Ghana, the dogs in the village you refer to no doubt live more hamane and better quality lives than you do. Why not stick to your “straight pride” as you dig for scraps to feed your unwaashed and unedcuated family as they beg for help in the mud. Don’t make me laugh.
Your ignorance is more deadly than you can ever imagine.
Gaddafi, I have asked the polygamy question here and our friends are mute on it. They are not answering because it “insults” their intelligence. I don’t have a problem if David Cameron and his ilk decide to insert their manhood into the rear sanctum of another brother…that’s their choice but i cant be tolerant about it when its been forced on me.
These same guys outlaw prostitution, soliciting etc. Is that not sheer hypocrisy?
Polygamy is a choice, homosexuality is not …
rear sanctum of another brother
“Sanctum”, heh – do you worship it? And no, over here most of us don’t do it with our brothers. Is that something you chaps do, then?
“I have asked the polygamy question here and our friends are mute on it”
Thats because the question is totally irrelevent to these threads. Prehaps you need to find a site to accommodate your needs.
What and who is exactly being forced on you? A very immature attitude. Do learn and grow up.
You may believe in your ‘morals’ but human rights are for all not those that choose it. If we give aid we have Every right to demand better human rights for all we’re expected to fund. You don’t have the right to stamp out people just because of how they are born over your chosen lifestyle. If anything it should be the other way around with those born given preference over chosen religious beliefs. End of.
I simply don’t understand why the Commonweath are complaining about, they want UK money, but do not want to adhere to Internationally recognised Human Rights, well if the UK puts certain stipulations in place as a caviat as to who gets aid, then its up to those countries as to whether they want the aid, if they do, then introduce laws that protect LGBT people and prosecute those newspapers (I use the word loosely) that out gay people so they get beaten up or worse, and send direct to jail those who inflict the assault.
If they aren’t prepared to do this, then they cannot complain if their aid is withdrawn.
How can they blame LGBT people, when LGBT people are already subject to torture at the hands of homophobes and transphobes
As a black Trinidadian lesbian from the Caribbean, trying to live in the very heart of the struggle with my white Trinidadian partner of 14 years http://jessiegirl.blogspot.com , I see a lot of people sitting in the comfort of their gay tolerant countries and spouting things that frankly make me so disheartened. How can worldwide gay solidarity happen if gay people in the first world have this superiority complex? They act as if it did not take over 100 years of gradual, cultural and intellectual enlightenment about this issue that integrated both social, academic, community, religious, cultural, artistic, media & entertainment influences to aid you in YOUR struggle for equality and human rights. And you are STILL not fully there yet! Yet you expect third world societies that did not have the benefit of all the things that aided you on your path to equality to somehow turnaround their thinking on a deep level. Believe me, you cannot POSSIBLY want a change faster than I do! But yet, I have the common sense to know that an imperialist method is the LEAST creative, humane, enlightened approach and will only achieve partial, surface results. Apparently gay people in the UK think that awareness programmes in schools, churches and communities; positive visibility in the arts, media and entertainment; support of the local medical experts; building an empowered gay community with legislative and economic influence somehow only works in THEIR countries or is too good for us here in the developing world, so don’t even try to attempt to treat us here like we have the potential, the emotional capacity, the intellectual acumen to change. Just order us around like good little children.
Many of them are either ignorant, in denial of everything or just plain nasty. Being gay does not prevent one from being racist or xenophobic either. There are many gay people who are racist and xenophobic and they jump right on the expedience of the moment, for personal gains.
I did -1 by mistake
They tried the same thing with the stop murder music rubbish and when tatchell was threathned he stopped immediately. these people do not have your best interests at heart
I hope that the people commenting here on PinkNews are not representative of the entire Western LGBT community. Barring a very few people (such as Jonpol, James!), I found most of the commentators here (pretty much like their government) are lacking in any sense of pragmatism or reason. All they care is about themselves and their “aid money” (which as per Fridae, tops 9 GBP per person per annum for Sierra Leone) . 9 fucking pounds and such arrogance!!??
Utter waste of time.
“Apparently gay people in the UK think that awareness programmes in schools, churches and communities; positive visibility in the arts, media and entertainment; support of the local medical experts; building an empowered gay community with legislative and economic influence somehow only works in THEIR countries ”
We can’t legislate in YOUR country Jessie because we don’t govern your country.
LGBT people in “gay tolerant countries” fought hard for their rights and are still fighting as you rightly say. Recently they have set up Kaleidoscope to fight abroad as well. It’s a bit unfair to say that no one cares and that everyone has a “superiority complex”.
If this aid plan can stop countries like Uganda introducing kill the gays legislation then at least people will be able to campaign for equality.
No one short of a suicidal maniac can campaign for gay rights in a country where homosexuality is punishable by death.
No you cannot legislate in my country but you can support the gay community there with resources and envoys of support, experts, pro-gay religious figures etc.
I agree that immediate severe cases like Uganda with “Kill The Gays” legislation can experience a temporary halt in such vile attempts to persecute gay people.
But like I keep saying, changing laws (especially under foreign pressure) will not change the religious, historical, social and cultural FOUNDATION that allows such laws to even be dreamed up in the first place. Just like your decriminalisation in 1967 did not immediately bring relief to your gay masses who still had to battle rabid homophobia and violence and in some parts of England, still do.
It is not so simple. The “suicidal maniacs” who live in Uganda, Jamaica and other places and are bravely fighting for equality need much more support from the UK gay community than, “Cut their aid! That’ll show those backward people! We don’t need them anyway!”
Cause actually, you do. The UK cannot trade with Africa (which has the vast majority of the world’s natural resources) without that carrot of foreign aid. It’s why you can enjoy the gadgets, textiles, gold, diamonds you have at CHEAP prices that do not represent the actual cost in human lives, environmental destruction AND human rights violations.
Which is entirely why the UK government supports Kaleidoscope to support grass roots LGBT organisations in other nations where gay people are not treated fairly
The first world myopia ignores the reality of the situation on the ground. The ONLY reason politicians in the third world can politically exploit homophobia (even if they KNOW better) is because it ALREADY EXISTS. Legislation alone cannot change that. A little insight into certain anti-gay countries will also show you that social class plays a very important role as well. Among the cliques of tertiary educated, intellectual elite, artsy people in my country, even places like Jamaica, there is already a lot of gay tolerance. My partner and I can slow dance together at a Lonsdale Saatchi & Saatchi Carnival party in Maraval but not at a street fete in the slums of Lavantille. Far less for places in Africa where almost EVERYWHERE is like the slums of Lavantille. It is mostly poor, uneducated and very religious people who support these laws and who are most affected by them, not families who can afford to send their kids off to university abroad. If my Prime Minster caved TODAY because of fear of losing foreign aid, life would not change ONE BIT for gays and lesbians who live in the urban ghettoes and rural villages. Social, cultural, religious attitudes are not changed by legislation (which will be painfully slow) but dialogue, debate, education, empowerment at the grassroots level. Even the American Evangelical charlatans seem to understand that better than most of you do. So, if there are any of my foreign gay and lesbian brothers and sisters who GENUINELY wish help those of us here in the heart of the struggle to influence what matters MOST in this fight and do so in innovative, enlightened ways, that would be wonderful. But I doubt that. Because it will actually mean getting your hands dirty working WITH a group of people about whom, I am beginning to suspect, most of those on this forum do not actually give a rats ass. And that is primarily why people continue to doubt the altruism and legitimacy of our movement. It is yet to transcend itself (like the anti-apartheid movement) and forge a global brotherhood. There is too much division, self-involvement and selfishness among us.
OK Jessie, your points are put across very well. But what do you say to those gay people in the UK who are not comfortable with the thought that their tax money is partly allotted to aid to countries with overtly homophobic regimes?
You better go to http://www.myjoyonline.com in Ghana and read about ant-gay comments there. I don`t think it will ever work in Africa
It will NEVER work!! Not in this life or the next!!!
Just fifty years ago, black people were still being lynched in the USA, now one sits in the White House.
Never say never.
Especially when there are so many gays and lesbians there braver than you can possibly imagine.
Jessie, many gays and lesbians? Where? In Ghana?! There is no space for that in our country! It’s either you abide by the rules or you leave the country! I have a better idea; Cameron should give all African homosexuals visas to stay in UK. That will help him have full control over them! As for Ghanaians we will NEVER allow it, NEVER!!!!!!
Your approach is so dogmatic.
Its “Rick the Original” again. JonPol, I’m sure of it….. same obsessive nature, poor education, and stupidity. Just a pathetic troll with nothing better to do with his time than write that tripe like anyone cares. Protest. Lady. Too much.
Don, I agree. But the education levels in Ghana are so desperately low (this is a county where half the population can’t write!), one cannot expect any thing less then the animistic frothing at the mouth you see in that forum. We have a good handful of those “proud to be ignorant” types right here in Europe, as this forum will attest to.
Here is a better link to the comments from Ghanains:
First Rehan, gays and lesbians in the UK should understand that those tax dollars that support foreign aid are a drop in the bucket compared to what the UK gets back from Africa. The BIGGEST smokescreen of all is that somehow the first world can buy their unlimited, preferential, unfair access to Africa’s vast mineral wealth with some foreign aid. I assumed that if I know this, certainly my gay and lesbian comrades in the first world should also. But it seems even gay people who have been oppressed by the same establishment have bought the imperialist smokescreen hook, line and sinker. Your latest 4G gadget? Your iPad, the season’s hottest new gold accessories? That double chocolate decadent dessert? The raw minerals probably came from Africa and you did not have to pay the TRUE cost of it, especially the human suffering, environmental destruction etc. So you are ALREADY more than enjoying your return on your tax investment in foreign aid.
I dont agree with all of your arguments, but many of them are fair and as Rehan says are expressed very well.
Whilst I personally have received a lot in terms of emotional benefit and experience from Africa, I am not sure financially the figures stack up in terms of net benefit to the UK. I appreciate that not everything is about monetary value – but in economically difficult times – that is how many people do measure things.
In terms of net benefit Stu, the UK was partially built on wealth gleaned from Africa. Today unless you insist on only buying fair trade, organic, humane products chances are child labour, partnerships with despotic leaders and/or environmental destruction that robbed people of clean water, soil etc. was involved.
The Americn Evangelicals are smart. They link their hatemongering missionary work to actual economic ends that will benefit the USA. They don’t go there all arrogant and culturally superior. They come baring gifts of solar power, water purfication, malaria medicine and speaking of “African Pride” and “Family Pride” etc.
The UK can learn a lot from them (despicable as they might be) in their approach because as it is, with the attitudes I see on this forum, you cannot compete with that. Tell me, how many rainbow coloured boxes of aid ever landed in Africa? Even after a natural disaster?
That is why no matter how loudly you scream and threaten, even if leaders change laws (I doubt it) the people will never change their impression of gays and lesbians. We have a PR problem worldwide. Without large bodies, Government spokespeople fronting for us, fighting our battles for us and ordering people to change, it seems we cannot do anything powerful all on our own, as a global community to spark that change from any profound level.
How I wish we could change that.
Mozambique changed … other African states have voiced that they are considering change …
Personally, as far as I can I do use fairly traded products etc etc
I think the UK (and other nations) should use aid as a method to encourage Africa to develop and utilise its resources to improve the standard of life for its population. There may be benefits to UK and other nations firms by engaging in trade etc etc, so aid is a two way beneficial street.
I do think the blaming the current generation for the actions of our ancestors is facile and unfair. I think that placing conditions on aid is reasonable and will benefit the people of Africa (and elsewhere)
Jessie, it seems to me you are railing against capitalism, and while that’s fair enough, government policy is not exactly the same thing. I would be interested to know what countries like China – not historically an imperialist power in Africa – provide in terms of aid, and with what conditions imposed.
I have no beef with capitalism per say, when it is fair and humane. Seems the challenge of my generation will be how to balance free enterprise with human rights and environmental preservation.
On the Chinese invasion, I need to research some more as it pertains to Africa. I do know they had no qualms working with the despotic Sudanese regime that was basically responsible for one of the worst genocides of our time. However, I can tell you about their mode of operations here in the Caribbean and if that is anything to go by, I would imagine Africa would follow the same principle.
I was living and working in Saint Lucia from 2002 to 2006 and the Chinese came, donated a whole heap of money, helped build several Government projects, monies were unaccounted for, there was a lot of corruption, the country slipped on the Corruption Perception Index. Then most of the Chinese never left, they began setting up retail businesses and undercutting local merchants with cheap goods and slave wages.
The same happened in Trinidad during 2007 to 2010. The UDECOTT/Calder Hart scandal involving the construction of the new Waterfront and Arts Centre.
I think the UK is playing a game based on old rules that no longer apply…wagging your finger and ordering a country to “Do the right thing!” as if this were still the 19th Century and gentleman’s agreements still hold.
The USA understands the game better than you do and if a Republican wins in 2012, I shudder to think what those Right Wing Christian Neo-Conservatives will allow in African countries. China is also slowly infiltrating. The UK has to change their game plan…FAST. That is, if they really care about this issue.
Now, If you want to actually do something to help gay and lesbian people in the third world, find the gay grassroots organizations there and help THEM to raise awareness. Why not have circuit parties in your country that actually serve a global gay rights cause? Why not have a World Pride Concert (the likes of Live Aid) for both global awareness and fundraising for indigenous groups, advocates fighting for a change. Help provide educational material. Send your own envoys to help with outreach, just as the American evangelicals sent their hatemongers. Find a way to compete with that TEN TIMES OVER! You do not have to start with the most life-threatening countries first. Start where there is at least a small groundswell of tolerance and circle of protection. Then widen it. It will create a wave of change. Make tolerance and diversity training mandatory for ANY students who come from the third world to your universities. Influence them, so they can influence others when they return home. Most of all, if the Diaspora of these countries are seeing racism, classism, xenophobia in the gay community in the UK it informs how they will view gay people and whether or not they will join the battle cry and influence their communities back in their home. Tackle the hatred in your own backyard or you cannot preach to anyone else about tolerance.
“Commonwealth nations react to “ex-colonial” British aid threat”
Well of course they react to it, we’re basically threatening to take away aid money these corrupt governments steal from it’s people to finance their own immoral riches while there own people starve.
Time for the aid to be more direct to the people it should be going to anyway but if we can we have every right to demand human rights for all.
The reaction of these corrupt and greedy former colonies could have been foreseen.
Now it has become clear that those in power are using religion (and homophobia) to manipulate the population away from the very human rights which would liberate them from their cycle of poverty and ignorance, and empower them to get rid of their corrupt governments in a democratic manner.