House Financial Service Committee approves ending aid to anti-gay countries

Congressman Barney Frank introduced this amendment that passed with almost unanimous support.

The text of the amendment reads: “The Committee urges Treasury to advocate that governments receiving assistance from the multilateral development institutions do not engage in gross violations of human rights, for example, the denial of freedom of religion, including the right to choose one’s own religion, and physical persecution based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Frank cited Uganda, a beneficiary of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries program, as an example of a country that openly abuses its LGBT citizens.

“The United States has a fairly influential voice in the development area,” Frank said Tuesday. “And we should not be supportive of providing multilateral bank development funds going to the governments of countries which engage in the physical persecution of people because of their religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”

It is offensive to ask gay American tax dollars to go to support the kind of hateful treatment of Uganda towards their gay citizens. The question remains, though, will this positive move be allowed to remain in the budget?

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