A measure to discourage US aid to homophobic countries has been approved by a House Committee.
Gay Democrat representative Barney Frank tabled the amendment to the House Financial Services Committee bill.
The amendment reads, “The Committee urges Treasury to advocate that governments receiving assistance from the multilateral development institutions do not engage in gross violations of human rights, for example, the denial of freedom of religion, including the right to choose one’s own religion, and physical persecution based on sexual orientation or gender identity”.
Frank referred to Uganda as a country that persecutes gay people, yet still receives US aid. The Advocate reports that there was almost unanimous support for the amendment.
Foreign affairs and human rights spokesman for the Tories in Europe, Dr Charles Tannock, suggested that the same rule should apply to the allocating of EU financial aid. Tannock said, “Financial aid to African countries must be reciprocated with progress on fundamental human rights on that continent”.
Uganda is amongst many other African countries in which homosexuality is a crime. In Sudan and Somalia, being gay is punishable by the death penalty and the Ugandan government due to debate soon whether or not to apply the same punishment to “aggravated” cases of homosexuality.