U.S. Support of Gay Rights in Africa May Have Done More Harm Than Good, and that’s the New York Times’ summation.
The paper reports:
After an anti-gay law went into effect last year, many gay Nigerians say they have been subjected to new levels of harassment, even violence. They blame the law, the authorities and broad social intolerance for their troubles. But they also blame an unwavering supporter whose commitment to their cause has been unquestioned and overt across Africa: the United States government.
The U.S. support is making matters worse,” said Mike, 24, a university student studying biology in Minna, a town in central Nigeria who asked that his full name not be used for safety reasons. “There’s more resistance now. It’s triggered people’s defense mechanism.”
And there’s this:
Since 2012, the American government has put more than $700 million into supporting gay rights groups and causes globally. More than half of that money has focused on sub-Saharan Africa. … But tying developmental assistance to gay rights has fueled anger across the continent.
Anti-gay American evangelicals have blood on their hands here, but resistance to liberal America’s attempt to impose its values also is a significant factor.
Good intentions expressed through heavy handed actions by a foreign government can and will backfire. A better strategy would be quiet support by privately funded NGOs backing locally controlled LGBT efforts, rather than the U.S. government throwing money around and issuing ultimatums, even if that’s what U.S. LGBT lobbies want to see.