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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sweden Threatens to Cut Aid to Uganda

Posted by on Thu, Dec 3, 2009 at 9:44 AM

Sweden has warned Uganda that it risks losing its aid—$50 million per year—if it passes a proposed law that would require third parties to report known homosexuals (mothers, fathers, siblings, neighbors), make gay sex illegal and punishable by death, put HIV-positive people to death, and outlaw advocacy for gay rights.

Speaking to Swedish Radio news, development minister Gunilla Carlsson says that she thinks the new law is appalling. "I'm doubly disappointed," she says, "partly because Uganda is a country with which we have had long-term relations and where I thought and hoped we had started to share common values and understanding. The law itself is wretched, but it's also offensive to see how the Ugandans choose to look at how we see things, and the kind of reception we get when we bring up these issues" Uganda receives around 50 million US dollars in development assistance from Sweden annually, minister Gunilla Carlsson says that this money might be in danger if the new law is introduced.

How much aid does Uganda get from the US government? Will the Obama administration take a similar stand? The conservative Canadian prime minister—Stephen Harper, a.k.a. "Canada's George Bush"—has taken a stand:

An anti-gay bill in Uganda that proposes the death penalty and long prison sentences for homosexual acts is deplorable, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Sunday. Harper told reporters he met privately with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni during the Commonwealth leaders' summit to express "Canada's deep concern and strong opposition to the bill."

"We deplore these kinds of measures," said Harper. "We find them inconsistent with any reasonable understanding of human rights."

No word yet from the fierce advocate of gay equality in the White House.


Comments (46) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Will you stop trying to be Rachel Maddow? She's educated, thoughtful, and articulate. You are narrow-minded, ignorant, and reactionary. Stick to the cuckhold columns, moron.
Posted by Ever heard of a lack of self-awareness, douchey? on December 3, 2009 at 9:49 AM · Report this
mae 2
remember that day that Slog got rid of all the comments that were offensive?

That was a great day.
Posted by mae on December 3, 2009 at 10:05 AM · Report this
heywhatsit!? 3
I'd like to be positive and say the White House will take a similar stand. But that would be stupid. I'm losing all hope.
Posted by heywhatsit!? on December 3, 2009 at 10:11 AM · Report this
Sorry to beat a dead horse here, but Dan is, so I'll ask again: At what point did gays think Obama was on their side? He had all the trappings of a homophobe from the get-go, which is why I didn't support him. He never rallied for gay rights or made it part of his platform, just mentioned it in passing along with equality for every other group (except women, whose rights he never acknowledged until he beat Hillary). Since the inauguration with his pal Rick Warren he has been loud and clear about his disinterest in gay rights. It hurts, but the truth is that just because Obama took your money doesn't mean he supported you then or will now.
Posted by mitten on December 3, 2009 at 10:18 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 5
As long as we're doing the "I told you so" thing, I also said this prior to the election. That's not why I didn't vote for him, though. I didn't vote for him because he was an incompetent fuck-up.

Hmm, looks like I was right about that too.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on December 3, 2009 at 10:24 AM · Report this
Good for Sweden.
Posted by Hannah in Portland on December 3, 2009 at 10:34 AM · Report this
stevema14420 7
A president with a Kenyan father who controls the purse strings for huge financial aid to Uganda should be able to stop this.
Posted by stevema14420 on December 3, 2009 at 10:38 AM · Report this
Carollani 8
Maybe it's time to move back to the land of my ancestors. Sweden seems to have it together.
Posted by Carollani on December 3, 2009 at 10:38 AM · Report this
Timmytee 9
Completely off topic, but what happened to your "Heeere's Johnnie!" icon, 5280? I don't recognize you without it! Best wishes.
Posted by Timmytee on December 3, 2009 at 10:43 AM · Report this
Now that is a question Rachel Maddow should have asked UN Amabassador Susan Rice on her show last night! What a lost opportunity. Where is the non-glbt liberal, progressive outrage on this and the marriage vote in NY?! Methinks they are missing in action.
Posted by RTR on December 3, 2009 at 10:44 AM · Report this
@4 Well said. The gay community has been taken for a very expensive ride by this homophobic bigot. Obama will make the ususal comments condemning the acts by Uganda's government blah, blah, blah....Then the U.S. govnerment will send $250 million or so in "humanatarian" aid. Fuck Obama.
Posted by SKEPTIK on December 3, 2009 at 10:45 AM · Report this
ams_ 12
I guess Harper is Canada's George Bush in his conservatism, but he's not a stupid person. Bush was stupid, and the fact that americans elected a dumb dumb (twice) is what makes america "special".
Posted by ams_ on December 3, 2009 at 10:56 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 13
@9: I just figured I'd let everyone see what I look like. I'll probably switch it back pretty soon.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on December 3, 2009 at 10:58 AM · Report this
Dingo 14
I find it incredible that Harper actually said that given that he wanted to put Canada's same-sex marriage law to a vote when he took office. Canada also sent $millions in aid to Uganda last year; time to follow those nice words with some action.
Posted by Dingo on December 3, 2009 at 10:59 AM · Report this
keshmeshi 15
Good luck finding a single African country that doesn't have fucked up attitudes toward gays. And, no, South Africa doesn't count. Its leaders are WAY ahead of the people and hate crimes are rampant there.

The only way to create lasting change in third world shitholes is with humanitarian aid. Leave those places to rot in disease and poverty and gays will continue to be discriminated against and killed.

But, to Dan, as with EVERYTHING else, political purity is more important than any other considerations.


"Humanitarian" aid? Fuck YOU.
Posted by keshmeshi on December 3, 2009 at 11:00 AM · Report this
"No word yet from the fierce advocate of gay equality in the White House."

And there never will be - not without media attention and extensive pressure.
Posted by Drew2u on December 3, 2009 at 11:06 AM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 17
#15 fucked attitudes are fine, everyone has one about something. It's fucked up laws with the power of actions growing from the fucked attitudes that are the horror we call wars, holocausts, genocides, etc.

If you don't like the way someone acts (let them think what they want) you usually don't give them gifts or money or association. I'm not sure that is a bad model for behavior modification, but I am VERY sure that killing people you don't like IS a bad mode of behavior. Uganda is exhibiting that bad mode. Time to stop sending them gifts, money, what ever. Why hang out with murders?
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on December 3, 2009 at 11:11 AM · Report this
Dingo 18
Excellent point, #16. When will LBGT people in America stop letting themselves be kicked around?
Posted by Dingo on December 3, 2009 at 11:17 AM · Report this
Loveschild 19

I'm wondering, just wondering what those who engage in gay acts in Uganda think of those oh so enlightening western individuals who want to cut aid to their country, which in turn affects their livelihood directly plus could directly have the added effect of further making them the target of drastic laws. But they need not to worry outsiders, Harper, Dingo, Dan and the rest of the sloggers along with Sweden will come to their aid, by cutting off their livelihood and provoking financial instability in their nation.

Who needs enemies with such a thoughtful bunch /S
Posted by Loveschild on December 3, 2009 at 11:29 AM · Report this
Dingo 20
The gay execution bill doesn't just threaten the livelihoods of "people who engage in gay acts" in Uganda, Loveschild, it threatens their actual lives. There is no more drastic law than one whose penalty is death.
Posted by Dingo on December 3, 2009 at 11:35 AM · Report this
Dr James 21
Oi, 19. They won't have a 'livelihood' to be affected if they're caught 'engaging in gay acts'. 'Cause under the proposed bill, they won't have a life.
Posted by Dr James on December 3, 2009 at 11:37 AM · Report this
When Sweden put on the ballot the banning of erecting more Minurets (the unslightly steple-like structure some mosques have) the whole Muslim world cried "facism!" "Nazi Germany!" and Muslims have threatened a Swedish boycott.
Now the Uganda is proposing genoicidal-like laws against gays and those with AIDS we hear... nothing.
Rev. Jerimiah Wright and so many of his cronies are always policing the Israelis and hollering about how they treat the Palestininians... yet we hear not ONE WORD from them when Africans do things like this. Apparently they are too busy policing the Jews to police their own people.
Posted by janeV on December 3, 2009 at 11:41 AM · Report this
Matthew 'Anc' Johnson 23
All those who say that cutting off aid to Uganda will only make matters worse for gays there need to study the role of sanctions in the overthrow of the Apartheid Regime in SA.
Posted by Matthew 'Anc' Johnson on December 3, 2009 at 11:45 AM · Report this
Loveschild 24

And you truly believe that by cutting financial you are going to spare them a death sentence? How? Don't you think that this snobbish attitude will be taken as a throwback to the days in which western nations dictated their affairs?

The world has changed since those days and today western nations are not the only ones with financial or medical knowledge. And by making stupid threats has been nations like Sweden could well find themselves further irrelevant in the African Continent as nations like Uganda seek financial partnerships in the east with China and middle eastern nations and other type of human resources in Latin American nations.
Posted by Loveschild on December 3, 2009 at 11:47 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 25
It looks like JaneV (@22) has been dipping into the good drugs.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on December 3, 2009 at 11:56 AM · Report this
Original Andrew 26
@ 22,

That was Switzerland, not Sweden which officially protested the ban.

They both start with "S" though. Thanks for playing.
Posted by Original Andrew on December 3, 2009 at 12:04 PM · Report this
Southern Gentleman 27
Loveschild, earlier you said you couldn't criticize Uganda's policies because they're a sovereign nation and therefore can do what they want. The truth, of course, is that you agree with Uganda's policies, you just lacked the courage to say so. Now you think it's acceptable to criticize the policies of another sovereign nation (Sweden, not Switzerland) because you disagree with them.

Is it possible for you to be honest?
Posted by Southern Gentleman on December 3, 2009 at 12:14 PM · Report this
@22 It was Switzerland that passed the ban on minarets, NOT Sweden. I would be extremely surprised if Sweden ever did something like that.

As someone with both US and Swedish citizenship, sadly I've had more reason to be proud of Sweden lately than of the US. It's just too bad it's so cold...

Boycotting Uganda could lead to more hate towards gays, but that law kinda passes the line from mere oppression to "gay holocaust" levels. Kill HIV+ people, kill gays, kill gay advocates and you have to report them if you know them.

How many people would say the proper response to Darfur is to continue to send aid to Sudan, or to increase it?

@24 And a big fuck you to Loveschild for suggesting that opposing the murder of gays and HIV+ people is "snobbish". It's a completely barbaric law.
Posted by Mario on December 3, 2009 at 12:20 PM · Report this
If we stopped donating money to developing countries with fucked up laws and fucked up attitudes, we would be giving out little to no humanitarian aid money anymore, anywhere.


You're right about Dan. Quite easy for him to sit there in his comfy Starbucks in rich-ass America sipping his latté and gently type into the laptop, "Cut 'em off!" After all, *he* doesn't ever have to worry about dying from malaria or west-nile virus. Sucks to be you, poors!
Posted by Confluence on December 3, 2009 at 12:35 PM · Report this
Sam Machkovech 30
The big reason you won't see the US take action? Cuz then we'd see exactly how we were spending money there.

I wouldn't be surprised if most of the US' money going into Uganda focuses on abstinence-only sex education. The billboards in Entebbe and Kampala are dominated by hetero-targeted signs with slogans like, "She's keeping herself for marriage... What about you?" Then the word "ABSTINENCE" is printed, its letter A replaced with a red ribbon. Another sign declares, "Abstain to avoid HIV/AIDS."

I have a bunch of photos on a Facebook album, but most of you people aren't my friends, so...…
Posted by Sam Machkovech on December 3, 2009 at 1:04 PM · Report this
crazycatguy 31
You're right, Uganda is a silly little backward poor country with a few fucked-up laws - how stupid of us to expect them to be civilized and treat all of their citizens with respect. Gosh, let's just send them as much money as we can, because, like, they're not really going to use it to kill gay people - they're just sayin it!
Posted by crazycatguy on December 3, 2009 at 1:14 PM · Report this
32 have no credibility on this topic whatsoever.
Posted by Chitown Kev on December 3, 2009 at 1:17 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 33
Don't most middle east countries also execute gays? Yet the rest of the civilized world continues to suck their oil-soaked cocks.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on December 3, 2009 at 1:40 PM · Report this
Stephen Harper says it's unacceptable, but that just what he does. He won't act. Same thing here in Canada with Climate change and everything else. His government is completely negligent.
Posted by Nyima on December 3, 2009 at 2:27 PM · Report this
Thank you Urgutha.

It's all deplorable, but strange that everyone's getting all worked up over Uganda, when the same thing is already law in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Nigeria, well, you've all seen the gay rights map….... but now our human rights expectations for yet another sub-Saharan cesspool are somehow through the roof?
Posted by Judith on December 3, 2009 at 2:33 PM · Report this
Dingo 36
Loveschild, threats of cutting off aid to Uganda have already resulted in some softening of the gay execution bill, such as the replacement of the death sentence clause with "mere" life imprisonment. But despite that, however you slice it it's a bill that violates human rights, and countries that believe in human rights and are signatories to the UN Declaration on Human Rights should not financially support regimes that so blatantly violate them, particularly when, without that support, those regimes would rapidly fall. That is not a "snobbish attitude," as you so crassly put it.
Posted by Dingo on December 3, 2009 at 5:55 PM · Report this
Loveschild 37
Um.. Dingo sweetie, can you please give me a link to the news source you cite?

I checked a credible one and i've found no mention of the "replacement" that you cite in the bill.
Posted by Loveschild on December 4, 2009 at 8:50 AM · Report this
Dingo 38
Do your own fucking homework.
Posted by Dingo on December 4, 2009 at 9:27 AM · Report this
Posted by Loveschild on December 4, 2009 at 10:00 AM · Report this
Loveschild 40

I have to say, its quite something to behold, when such a diminutive western group can keep arm-twisting an African nation into their will, its really something.

None the less, i'm glad that to see the change in the sentence.

Posted by Loveschild on December 4, 2009 at 10:01 AM · Report this
Tetchy Brit 41
Yeah, how dare gays stand up for themselves. They should be lining up to be killed and be thanking the backwards retards of a broken country for the privilege
Posted by Tetchy Brit on December 4, 2009 at 12:08 PM · Report this
Oh geez, it's really something that a "diminutive western group" managed to get a country to back down from passing a horrific, murderous law.

Yeah, that would be a GOOD thing. Their national *pride* is not worth more than gay people's or HIV+ people's *lives*. Being a former colony should not give you a free pass on brutality.
Posted by Mario on December 4, 2009 at 12:19 PM · Report this
Dingo 43
And in fact one of their own Christian leaders has denounced the proposed bill as "genocidal."
Posted by Dingo on December 4, 2009 at 12:45 PM · Report this
Yes, you heard it here, first. Life in prison for being gay makes Loveschild "glad."

What a rotten, monstrous soul she must have.
Posted by Meat Weapon on December 6, 2009 at 12:49 AM · Report this
Whenever humanitarian aid is given to another nation, yes, it is perfectly reasonable to attach conditions to that aid. Obviously, conditions that would, for instance, require the construction of military bases or only be granted if a certain political party were in power are wholly inappropriate and unacceptable. But when those conditions amount to essentially requiring a government to meet the bare minimums of the Universal Declaration of Human rights, they are absolutely essential. Failure to attach such conditions can result in aid-granting governments essentially being complicit in genocide.

Yes, there are complications in withdrawing funds from an impoverished area of the world. But when those funds are being used to bolster a government that is engaging in genocidal behavior, then there is an obligation to withdraw that aid.

Let's keep in mind--over 4% of the population of Uganda is HIV positive. The vast majority of those people are heterosexual. This isn't just a gay rights issue. (Of course, even if it were "just" a gay rights issue, withdrawing aid would be the right thing to do, but as a practical matter, it's worth noting how many people would be affected if this legislation were to pass.)
Posted by International Humanitarian Law Student on December 6, 2009 at 9:18 PM · Report this
If your Aid is having strings atached then keep your damn the way did you hear ,we recently discovered OIL we dont need your AID,how can you tell us how to run our own show!!!
Posted by Monalisa on December 14, 2009 at 10:18 PM · Report this

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