The British Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell, now says the UK government’s position had been wrongly reported as a threat to cut aid or to single out LGBT rights as a condition for aid.
Speaking at a meeting on Monday Mitchell however reaffirmed the British government’s commitment to speak up for the rights of LGBT people around the world.
According to a news release from the Kaleidoscope Trust, Mitchell said the government did not want changes to British UK aid policy to have any damaging effect on LGBT communities in recipient countries and promised to examine closely the impact of ministerial comments. He said aid levels would not be cut but could be switched in response to human rights violations.
The comments were made during a meeting with the Kaleidoscope Trust, Justice for Gay Africans, the International HIV/Aids Alliance, Stonewall and Peter Tatchell.
Prior to the meeting the Kaleidoscope Trust presented the minister with reports by a wide-ranging group of African social activists and the Coalition Against Homophobia in Ghana, both of which pointed to fears of a ‘backlash’ against LGBT people.
Lance Price, Director of the Kaleidoscope Trust, said, “Andrew Mitchell clearly understands the importance of setting LGBT rights into a wider context and of avoiding any risk of harm to those that British policy is designed to help. We are fortunate to have a government that takes these issues seriously and is prepared to speak out when necessary.”
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