Should We Send Aid?

Uganda would make being gay punishable by death. Should we send them aid?

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Stumbled across this blurb over on the Atlantic (which stumbled across it on The Independent Gay Forum). Writer Jamie Kirchick doesn't think aid money should be given to Uganda, a nation with an entirely contentious relationship with its homosexual citizenry, even going so far as to make homosexuality a crime punishable by death.

"When a government actively encourages homophobia, the effect reverberates throughout society. Uganda's president, Yoweri Museveni, has accused European gays of coming to his country to "recruit" people into homosexuality. Ugandan newspapers and bloggers have seized on the proposed law to launch their own broadsides against gays, posting the names and photographs of individuals in Wild West-style "wanted" posters in print and online. A major tabloid, the Red Pepper, trumpeted an expose headlined "Top Homos in Uganda Named" as "a killer dossier, a heat-pounding and sensational masterpiece that largely exposes Uganda's shameless men and unabashed women that have deliberately exported the Western evils to our dear and sacred society."

From 2004 through 2008, Uganda received a total of $1.2 billion in PEPFAR money, and this year it is receiving $285 million more. Clearly, the United States has a great deal of leverage over the Ugandan government, and the American taxpayer should not be expected to fund a regime that targets a vulnerable minority for attack — an attack that will only render the vast amount of money that we have donated moot."

Not that the US can really be considered a beacon of light when it come to gay rights, but death penalties and such take it entirely too far. What do you think? Should aid still be given?

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