Germany Cuts Aid to Malawi Over Criminalization of Lesbianism

The German government is cutting aid to Malawi in half because of recent decisions by Malawi’s parliament to criminalize lesbianism and restrict freedom of the press. Male homosexuality was already a crime under that country’s laws. Queer.de reports that this is the first time that the German Development Ministry has reduced aid because of a country’s policies regarding homosexuality.

Germany’s development minister, Dirk Niebel, has been quoted in the past as saying that “bilateral cooperation in development aid policy can be discontinued when a partner government willfully and systematically violates the human rights of sexual minorities.”

Perhaps not coincidentally, Germany’s foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, is the first openly gay person to hold that position.


Liz Newcomb is an attorney by day and committed LGBT activist by night and weekend. She has worked as a researcher at the Williams Institute. While in law school at UCLA, she was Articles Editor of the LGBT law journal. Liz lives in West Hollywood with her wife, Lynne. They are one of the 18,000 California same-sex couples who got married during the summer before proposition 8 passed. Liz has lived in California for over 20 years and brings a left coast perspective to AMERICAblog.

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