Andrew Mitchell says UK support for LGBT rights will not lead to cuts in aid levels
At a meeting today with the Kaleidoscope Trust and other groups, the Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell, reaffirmed the British government’s commitment to speak up for the rights of LGBT people around the world.
Mr. 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 the government’s position had been wrongly reported as a threat to cut aid or to single out LGBT rights as a condition for aid. 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 wideranging 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.
“We look forward to working with ministers to help ensure that the views of LGBT people in countries that receive UK aid are properly taken into account and that the consequences and potential benefits of policy changes are effectively explained.”