LONDON — Britain’s Tory led government has announced that it will reduce financial aid to nations that persecute their LGBTQ citizens.
“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,” according to a spokesperson for Andrew Mitchell, Britain’s International Development Secretary .
“We now allocate funds every three months, rather than every year, so that we can review a country’s performance, for example on human rights, and take swift action when governments fall short. We only provide aid directly to governments when we are satisfied that they share our commitments to reduce poverty and respect human rights,” the spokesperson said.
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Britain has already cut aid to the African nation of Malawi by £19 million after two gay men there were sentenced to 14 years hard labor. Mitchell also warned Malawi leaders not to introduce plans imposing draconian new anti-lesbian laws.
Mitchell is also threatening to impose further aid sanctions against Uganda and Ghana for those nation’s hard-line anti-gay measures. This policy was disclosed after Prime Minister David Cameron defended his decision to legalize gay weddings when he addressed last week’s Conservative Party conference in Manchester.
Uganda, which expects to receive £70 million this year from Britain, has been considering legislation to strengthen current laws against gay people.
The harshest provisions call for the death penalty in “aggravated” cases of homosexuality, although parliament appears to have shelved the bill.
In Ghana, a government minister recently called for the arrest of all gay people in the country’s western region. This followed president John Evans Atta Mills’ pledge to curb the “menace” of homosexuality.
Mitchell’s deputy Stephen O’Brien told the president earlier this year that Ghana would lose its £36 million a year from Britain unless he stops persecuting gay people. ~ Reporting from The Daily Mail