US aid funds gay death penalty fight in Ethiopia

US aid funds gay death penalty fight in Ethiopia

John Kerry is asked during his Ethiopia visit to act, as US aid funds groups that incite anti-gay hate and call for a ‘Kill the Gays’ bill in the country
24 MAY 2013 | BY Mercy

John Kerry is asked during his Ethiopia visit to act, as US aid funds groups that incite anti-gay hate and call for a ‘Kill the Gays’ bill in the country

While John Kerry, US Secretary Of State is visiting Ethiopia, local LGBT activists say US aid money sponsors organizations whose anti-gay stance led to recent attacks on Ethiopian gays and call for the death penalty against homosexuality to be passed in the country.

Kerry’s three-day visit begins Friday (24 May) in Addis Ababa, where he will meet with senior Ethiopian officials to discuss ‘bilateral issues’ and celebrate the 50th anniversary celebration for the African Union.

Ethiopian LGBT rights activists, however, have called him and the US to account by pointing out that US aid is financing organizations that are actively calling for Ethiopia to introduce the death penalty for gays, inciting hate and encouraging assaults against them.

A recent article revealed how USA aid money is benefiting local organizations such as the Ethiopian Interfaith Forum for Development, Dialogue and Action (EIFDDA) that are spreading anti-gay hate in Ethiopia causing a climate of moral panic and forcing the LGBT community to flee the country.

EIFDDA in partnership with United for Life Ethiopia (ULE), a local Pro-life Evangelical group have held several joint workshops and conferences, including at the newly built African Union headquarter, to pressurize the Ethiopian government to legislate a ‘Kill the Gays’ style bill in the country.

During such workshops attended by Ethiopian government officials, EIFDDA, ULE and other organizations have demonized gays saying homosexuality is a ‘western import’ and has ‘disastrous effects in Ethiopia.’

According to Mercy, director of Rainbow Ethiopia, a group offering HIV and social support services, these workshops are designed to propagate such anti-gay hate ‘across churches, mosques, schools and even healthcare facilities all over the country.

‘This is causing a growing trend of verbal/physical abuse and life threatening violence by friends, family members, teachers, mobs and in worst case by the law enforcement officers from time to time.’

Helen and Ruta, a young lesbian couple studying in a private collage in Addis Ababa told Gay Star News: ‘We are really worried about the pressure coming from our parents to marry both of us to wealthy older men. We’re afraid this may lead to forced marriage soon, which is the fate of many Ethiopian lesbians.

‘Our other grave concern is the growing hunting down and beating of gays and lesbians because of the false and disgusting newspaper/magazine propaganda by some protestant pastors and Orthodox priests.’

Alex, a 23 years old HIV positive gay man working in coffee shop in Awassa, in the south of Ethiopia was viciously beaten by a mob while meeting a friend in a local bar.

A man followed the two into the bar and called Alex ‘bushti’ (roughly translated into faggot) and attacked him while others joined in.

While last week, Mohammed, a 28 year-old transgender man who sometimes likes to wear women’s clothes and make up was blackmailed and attacked because of his preferences.

Mercy told GSN: ‘We commend some of the work of EIFDDA and affiliated organizations in the areas of HIV Prevention, helping orphan, vulnerable children and women.

‘However, we strongly object to the recent growing anti-homosexuality hate campaign and respectfully request the government, the EIFDDA and others development partners to carefully research and avoid the confusion of homosexuality with paedophilia.

‘We further note that the dangerous consequences of their campaigns on LGBT people in the country.

‘Rainbow-Ethiopia strongly encourages Secretary Kerry to use his platform to condemn the actions of these American and Ethiopian organizations which are working in concert to demonize LGBT people and distract citizens of Africa nations from finding solutions to the real problems they face.

‘The US public must know that their tax money is used to foment hatred against LGBT people in Africa, and literally put people’s lives in danger.

‘Kerry must act to end this importation of radical evangelical anti-gay hate into Ethiopia.’

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About Mercy

Mercy is a public health and humanitarian practitioner, strategist and community educator and mobilizer, blogger, HIV/AIDS and Social Justice/Human Rights Activist who is courageously advocating for the Dignity, Health Equity and non-discrimination of all Marginalized and Vulnerable Social Groups by fighting the prevalent HIV, the widespread Homophobia and other forms of socio-economic exclusions/injustice in Ethiopia. He is also the co-founder and director of the pioneer; Rainbow-Ethiopia Health and Human Rights Initiative, the one and only LGBTI Health and Human rights organization in Ethiopia Please feel free to Contact him at: rainbow-ethiopia@mail.com Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Posted on May 25, 2013, in African LGBTI News, Ethiopian LGBTI Community, LGBTI Human Rights in Ethiopia, MSM and HIV in Ethiopia and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. you gay people you are not Ethiopian . we ETHIOPIAN have good values & moral we fear God we don’t want fight with nature, we are not against God. WHY YOU DO FIGHT FOR POVERTY, WHY YOU CHOOSE TO FIGHT FOR HOMOSEXUALITY . YOU ARE HUMANBEING? EVEN ANIMALS DO NOT NEED THIS EVILTHING HOMOSEXUALITY WE ASHAMED ON YOU.

    Like

  2. STOP THIS DIRTY THING IN OUR LAND, IF YOU WANT TO GO THEIR JUST FLEE!
    WE WANT DEVELOPMENT, GOOD MANER SAME SEX POISON FOR OUR CHILDREN

    Like

  3. ETHIOPIA DON’T WANT GOD’S JUGEMENT

    IT IS NOT CIVILIZATION IT IS ANTI DEVELOPMENT.

    Like

  4. we need good future HOMOSEXUALITY IS genocide

    Like

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