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Uganda gay activists: 'Cutting aid will hurt LGBTI community'

2014-02-27
ugandaUgandan gay activists have urged countries not to cut aid to the country following the introduction of new anti-gay laws. President Yoweri Museveni signed a new anti-gay bill earlier this week, which could see gay people facing life imprisonment. Those who reach out to the gay community could also face custodial sentences. Since Museveni signed the bill, countries such as Norway, the Netherlands and Denmark have suspended financial aid to Uganda. Meanwhile, the US and Canada have confirmed that they will review their relationship with Uganda in the wake of this week's events. Edwin Sesange, director of the African LGBTI Out and Proud Diamond Group, told Gay Star News: "Aid in various forms helps all ordinary Ugandans, including LGBTI people who we are campaigning for. "Therefore the consequences of not being able to access those services financed by foreign aid will directly impact gay, lesbian, trans and bi Ugandans wellbeing." She added that "most proponents of homophobia in Uganda can afford luxurious lives without depending on some foreign aid funded projects", while the majority of the LGBTI community are not so fortunate. Val Kalende, a Ugandan-born activist now living in the US, added that cutting financial aid will make the LGBTI community more vulnerable to violent attacks. She said: "African LGBTI activists know too well what the consequences of aid cuts would be – especially the backlash against LGBTI people." > Tutu: ‘Uganda anti-gay law as evil as Nazism, Apartheid’ > Arizona Governor vetoes anti-gay bill: ‘No discrimination’