ERASING 76 CRIMES
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The Closeted Continent
… The complex geography of the global fight for gay rights poses dilemmas for Western activists and governments eager to break new ground in vindicating rights, but also wanting to minimize the risk of backlash that can inadvertently put gay populations abroad at even greater risk than before.
Although it’s possible that gay rights advocacy is making life worse for gays in the short term, there are steps that may help keep gay people safer around the world and lessen the chance that the current standoff over gay rights goes on for decades.
Listen to local activists
On tactical questions like whether aid conditionality is effective, Western activists and governments should pay close attention to the views of local groups. In 2011, a large group of African social justice organizations issued a statement opposing a proposal to condition British aid, arguing, among other things, that doing so risked alienating local LGBT activists from [potential supporters in] other civil society groups. Although this doesn’t mean that every proposed set of LGBT-related conditions is unwelcome, it does underscore that opinions on the utility of aid conditionality are divided and that local views need to be carefully canvassed and considered.
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