uk government funds anti lgbtq+ organizations, uganda report
According to a report, the UK government is contributing to the funding of a virulently homophobic religious group in Uganda whose leaders have supported a law that would make identifying as gay a crime.
More about the report which showed that the UK Government Funds Anti-LGBTQ+ Organizations, Uganda
The Institute for Journalism and Social Change (IJSC) report examined official data provided to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) and discovered a “staggering” number of connections between anti-LGBTQ+ organizations in Uganda and foreign aid donors, including the UK.
The Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU), an interfaith organization, is a direct recipient of UK aid funds, according to IATI submissions, in its capacity as an “implementing partner” of a program that aims to realize the Foreign Office’s “ambition for an open society in Uganda.”
The Church of Uganda and several evangelical churches were among the IRCU members who signed a statement in February expressing “great concern” over “the growing spread of homosexuality” in Uganda and the impact of “the LGBTQ agenda” on children’s well-being.
To broaden the nation’s anti-gay laws, the anti-homosexuality bill 2023 was introduced into parliament two weeks later. Last month, the Ugandan parliament passed the bill with 387 of 389 MPs voting in favor.
The proposed law, which Volker Türk, the UN human rights chief, called “probably among the worst of its kind in the world,” calls for the death penalty and life in prison for homosexual acts, as well as up to 14 years in prison for “attempted” homosexuality and 20 years for “recruitment, promotion, and funding” of same-sex “activities.”
The maximum sentence for anyone who declares themselves to be “a lesbian, gay, transgender, a queer, or any other sexual or gender identity that is contrary to the binary categories of male and female” is ten years in prison.
President Yoweri Museveni, who this month called homosexuality a “threat to the human race,” declined to sign the bill into law and asked the parliament to take another look at it, leaving it in limbo.
The US has urged Museveni to veto the bill, and a government official has warned that the Biden administration would consider potential “repercussions… perhaps in an economic way” if it were to become law. The US gives the African nation more than $950 million (£770 million) annually.
After the IRCU reportedly supported the precursor to the 2023 bill, the Anti-Homosexuality Act, which was later struck down by the constitutional court, the Obama administration reportedly cut off government support in 2014.
The UK’s development minister, Andrew Mitchell, declared that his country was “deeply disappointed” by the 2023 bill’s resounding passage by the Ugandan parliament. However, the IRCU is still receiving aid.
Data from the Foreign Office show that the organization has so far been given £134,900 as part of the Uganda-Open Society program, which started in June 2021 and is scheduled to last until March 2024.
The IJSC report’s author, Claire Provost, stated: “This research has revealed an astounding number of connections between anti-LGBT religious organizations in Uganda and international aid donors and development agencies.”To ensure that these practices are not undermining human rights anywhere, donors, development agencies, and advocates need to take a wider view of funding across all nations.
A feminist writer from Ghana named Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah who contributed to the report claimed: “Funding has gone to organizations that have publicly advocated hatred of queer communities. This must stop, in our opinion. We disagree that funding should go to organizations that incite hatred.
We contacted the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office for comment.