Recently, President Yoweri Museveni’s led Ugandan government ratified more draconian anti gay legislation leading to some in the Western world stalling their aid to the Africa state.
It seems a hypocritical reaction by the World Bank, Denmark, The Netherlands and Norway to withhold/cut such financial support to Uganda. Especially when these entities have diplomatic/financial relations with countries that are have equally harsh penalties for LGBT rights. The likes of China, Saudi Arabia, Netherlands, Pakistan, India, Egypt, Mauritius, Singapore, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates (UAE) come to mind. Many of whom are regard themselves as friends of the West. Where is the political/economic pressure from the West on those nations?
- Take the UAE and Saudi Arabia as examples where the rulers have made major financial investments across the Western world – Manchester City FC, Harrods, Barcelona Football club, Al Jazeera. The Saudis and their neighbours are some of the biggest purchasers of arms from countries like the US and Western European nations. Would pro gay Western nations leaders object to selling their arms to Saudia Arabia because of it’s equally draconian stance on lesbian and gay rights? – leading to huge jobs cut in the arms manufacturing industry?
- Would the EU take a stance and cut their sizeable imports of liquefied gas from Qatar?
- Why hasn’t the Netherlands government /EU ordered Shell out of African oil countries such as Nigera, Gabon, Egypt, Tunisia etc?
- Would western government apply pressure not to import diamonds and other gemstones from the likes Botswana and Angola?
- Why does Norway provide aid to other African states with anti gay rights laws such as Ghana, Nigeria etc?
Sadly some of the mainstream media such as the BBC World Service, NBC just need to stop being mouth pieces for their governments and question their meaasurd coverage of this issue.
Such media attacks has the hallmarks over a bullyboy tactic that can be counter productive in African states -which governments like of that of President Museveni will use to shore up their own electoral support base. Colonial days are long gone and many African states no long jump when their former pseudo white masters says so.
Many Africa leaders have becoming more bolder and the worse things their former imperial masters can do is to order these independent nations with their own new found liberal views.
If the West is going to play tough against such anti gay led government then they will gain more respect if their action is against all countries (including the richer nations) rather than aiming their a few easy targets like Uganda and Jamaica for that matter. Rather than target the odd poor country should this be discuss openly in some UN forum where those from countries
It is only a few years ago that countries like the UK and the US to a lesser extent have become more relaxed to lesbian and gay rights. Yet there many are still coming to terms and understanding of the rights of lesbians and gays in those countries. Just look at the battle on same sex marriage in both countries or the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” change in the US army.
It is funny a in many of those countries that have ban homosexuality men tend to show more physically to their fellow men than say in the UK. For example how men greet each other in the west. Two people of the same sex holding hands or kissing still turn heads in liberal London.
2 of the more so called “pro gay” elected leaders are President Obama and David Cameron. But look how far they have come with their own views and action.
Obama quotes on same sex marriage
- “also as a Christian, to remain open to the possibility that my unwillingness to support gay marriage is misguided” -2008
- “I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman.” – 2008
- “I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” -2012
- Cameron voted in favor of a bill which would ban gay couples from adopting. – 2002
- Cameron voted in favor of civil partnerships for gay men and lesbians in 2004.
- Cameron was interviewed and had trouble to explain his party’s voting record on gay rights -2010
- Cameron said he supported same-sex marriage and his government would begin a consultation to legalize it – 2011
Chris Grayling (Cameron’s current Justice Secretary) said in 2010 that bed & breakfast owners should be allowed to turn away gay couples.
If the pro gay western governments is keen to bring countries with anti gay legislation around to their new found way of thinking then debate the issues frankly and publicly at the regional, international and national levels. Let the discussions be done at CARICOM, OAS or ACP level. Have discussions within the Arab League. Let’s hear the likes of Cameron or Obama publicly say they are faciltating such debates in those countries.
But just picking on Uganda out of the over 80 countries is just a feeble and token form of action. Solves nothing.