Submitted by St George’s Dragon
The recent debate about gay rights started with the UK Prime Minister saying that in future some UK aid would be linked to adherence to “proper human rights”. His statement was related to one of the recommendations of a Commonwealth report which recommended ending bans on homosexuality.
The UK’s stance has not been well received in Barbados but it is important to note that despite the uproar, this is only peripherally aimed at us.
This for two reasons:
– Most importantly, we do not receive any aid which will be subject to these criteria. Please note this well. We receive no money from the UK which is at risk because the UK Government has decided to bring in these rules. It is therefore a complete non-issue for Barbados.
– The policy is aimed more at States which ban homosexuality completely. See for instance Uganda’s proposal for an “offence of homosexuality” which would normally make any homosexuality carry a penalty of life imprisonment. This would be increased to a death sentence if the offender was HIV positive.
But make no mistake; the pressure will continue to mount.
As an example. Hillary Clinton has just made a speech at the United Nations in Geneva, where she said that US Government Agencies will now “consider gay rights when making aid…… decisions”.
With the USA taking this position, we have to recognise that the game is really starting to change across the world.
You can say its colonial pressure; you can argue the Biblical interpretation; you can debate the morality. What is clear is that in the near future, if we want to continue receiving international aid and loans, we will have to review our laws.
The by-product might be that Barbados will be a more tolerant place.