The country of Sweden on Wednesday announced that it would stop all development aid payments to Uganda immediately “because of the anti-gay legislation” passed in late February.
“The government reaffirms its strong condemnation of the Ugandan legislation that violates the fundamental rights of homosexuals, bisexuals and transgender people,” International Aid Minister Hillevi Engström said.
“Swedish aid is not unconditional. That’s why the government has decided to withhold state-to-state payments,” she added without specifying the amount involved.
On February 24th, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed into law a series of bills banning the promotion of homosexuality and making it mandatory to report gays in a country where they can face life-time imprisonment.
Other European nations, namely Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands, announced on the very same day that they would freeze their aid to the Ugandan state or redirect it towards private sector initiatives, aid agencies and rights organizations.
Sweden’s subsidies to Uganda in 2012 amounted to $34.1 million dollars.
Swedish police detained two topless activists from the feminist network Femen on Thursday for trying to break and enter the Russian embassy in Stockholm during a protest which drew over 200 people to rally against Russia’s draconian anti-gay laws and its abusive of the LGBT Russian people.
“There is a lot of anger here but people are channeling it in a good way. There’s a lot of rainbow flags, people are happy and smiling because they are making their determination felt,” said Sören Juvas, Social Democrat ombudsman and former head of LGBT rights organization RFSL, “The EU placed demands on candidate countries before they joined, but they need to keep up the pressure when we can see that countries start categorizing people and giving different groups of people different legal statuses.”
Juvas continued stating that there appears to be mostly support for LGBT rights in Russia among western European nations adding “There is a new Berlin Wall in Europe, it splits the European countries and it’s not just a question of LGBT rights, but also how you treat (sic) all minorities.”
Freddie Ljungberg the Swedish football star and Calvin Klein underwear model (who currently plays with the Seattle Sounders) last week discussed gossip written about him, along with a few other things:
There’s been a gay rumor for a long time. I don’t mind at all. I am proud of that. I love fashion, and I think so many gay people have amazing style. So that is a compliment to me. I really don’t know why people are so interested. I just made a decision that I won’t talk about it.”
You have to admit Freddie is HOT! And it’s so great that he’s not a social neanderthal.
The group’s Rainbow Europe Country Index says Sweden is the only European nation that passes all the group’s tests in areas such as anti-discrimination protections, recognition of same-sex partnerships and parenting, hate-crime and hate-speech laws, plus equal age-of-consent laws.
“Our congratulations to (Sweden) for making sure its legislation and practices are fully inclusive and respectful of human rights of LGB people,” said ILGA-Europe board chair Martin K.I. Christensen.
“Sadly, despite advances in many parts of Europe, we still experience human rights violations of LGB people in Europe. This year Russia and Ukraine are on the bottom on our index.” Other poorly ranked countries include Armenia, Belarus, Cyprus, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland and Turkey.
Rounding out the top five highest-ranked were Belgium, Netherlands, Norway and Spain.