How fine is this: the British government is threatening to cut its foreign aid to homophobic countries because of their laws and treatment against LGBT citizens. If only more wealthy countries got serious about backing up their human rights standards with financial penalties we might see some serious change of policies in places like Malawi, Uganda, Ghana, Cameroon and Jamaica. These and scores of other small states make blood sport and score political points with homophobic rhetoric and organized anti-gay assaults. (photo right, UK Prime Minister David Cameron)
Such barbaric behavior is not just ‘simple violence’, it is a deep reflection of a society’s public health, of their integrity and justice values. To treat any minority with disdain or abuse because of a superficial variation of religion, ethnicity or sexuality is a measure of the core heart of a culture. In the case of many homophobic countries this core is morally corrupt as police stand by and allow violence or blatant discrimination to occur in public, goaded on by goon squads brainwashed by their own leaders.
And not just small countries. Russia, Indonesia, China and Kazakhstan are huge societies with entrenched homophobia. This will indeed be a long culture war–but at least it is a war and not an overwhelming slaughter of helpless sheep. Against these evil forces are the ‘good guys’ who see cultural diversity as an asset, who see sexuality on a continuum of love. Forces led by the United Nations Human Rights Commisioner Navi Pillay who has openly declared strike-back efforts to oppose discrimination. (photo left UN Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay)
These forces also include Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, America’s Human Rights Campaign, Britain’s Stonewall Association, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, Brazil’s Grupo Gay da Bahia, South Africa’s constitution and hundreds of other LGBT organization around the world–including Nepal’s Blue Diamond Society. Not to mention the thousands of ‘foot soldiers’ across the democratic world who advocate daily for equality in marriage, adoption, family rights in their city, state and country. As well, other countries such as Sweden have warned homophobic countries (i.e. Uganda) of aid cuts if homophobic laws are passed.
Now comes Britain with its heavy influence to threaten small anti-gay bullies within its commonwealth consortium with foreign aid cuts. As it should be.
Some are protesting such punitive action claiming aid cuts will hurt poor people. No doubt they will–but no less than currently as huge sums of foreign money are siphoned off by corrupt bureaucrats before they reach intended health or education programs.
If the forces of change and progress do not ‘weigh in’ with strong corrective measures–and money is certainly one of the strongest motivators for change–then nothing will change and ignorance and brutality will continue to persist at the hands of religious and political bigots who pretend to be leaders.
Three cheers for the Brits!
By Richard Ammon
October 13, 2011