Friday, October 12, 2007

Bush Administration Funds Homophobia in Uganda.

This is truly horrifying.

"As Ugandan officials and the Ugandan media intensify attacks on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, the US government should condemn these threats, and clarify that it does not support using its HIV/AIDS funding to promote homophobia, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to US officials.

“'When the US funds abstinence-only programs in Uganda, it tells people that LGBT people’s sexualities are dangerous and must be denied,” said Scott Long, director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights Program at Human Rights Watch. “Supporting prejudice with cash is an approach with deadly consequences for all.'

"An August 16 press conference by a coalition of LGBT groups in Uganda that launched a campaign called “Let Us Live in Peace,” has led to a month-long backlash in the country. Most recently, on September 9, the tabloid paper Red Pepper published a list of first names, workplaces and other identifying information of 39 alleged homosexuals, all men. Headlined “Homo Terror,” the article promised to “name and shame top gays in the city.”

I don't think the Bush Administration purposely gives abstinence-only funding to poor countries to knowingly discriminate against gays. I think the Bush Administration are ignorant of this phenomenon -- Can George W. Bush locate Uganda on a map? It's pretty clear the homophobia that is in abstinence-only education in this country, but we're free to believe whatever we want despite what we learn in school. I don't think most people, especially middle school students, are stupid enough to believe that homosexuality is wrong because their teachers of all people tell them that. Obviously, that's not the same in Uganda. However bad the social climate is for homosexuals in the United States, it obviously pales in comparison to what's happening in Uganda. But that doesn't mean that homophobia can't get worse in the United States, especially when you create an safe environment for it. And I honestly don't think that the Bush Administration realizes how bad homophobia can get when you let it.

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