Monday, February 11, 2013

Say "No" to grant to anti-gay religious group for work in Udanga

An evangelical organization that describes homosexuality as a “perversion” and a “sin” is receiving funding from the federal government for its work in Uganda, where gays and lesbians face severe threats. (from "Anti-gay religious group gets funding from Ottawa to work in Uganda" by Lina Dib and Fannie Olivier The Canadian Press, inToronto Star, February 10, 2013, excerpted below) 


We all know about non-state actors taking positions, and committing actions that are dedicated to both destroying those perceived as enemies and converting those willing to be converted. Now, with the announcement that the Canadian government has funded an evangelical christian group to "build infrastructure" in Uganda, knowing its position on the evils of homosexuality, does anyone really think or believe that some "Christian prosletyzing" (read attempts to convert to the straight lifestyle) will not be integrated into the "infrastructure" program? Of course it will!
In effect, the Canadian government is saying to the world, by this grant, that it supports both the work and the underlying belief of this organization, and no words, no matter how loud, or how many times repeated, to the effect that Baird will speak out against homophobia, will counter that reality.
I for one, do not want my tax dollars going to support such an openly bigoted and openly sexist organization! And I can only think there are a few other Canadians who think, feel and believe something similar.
When our federal government, either overtly, or covertly, becomes an agent for a religious view, a specific religious view, that is clearly discriminating of the gay and lesbian community, the government has over-stepped its legitimate authority. And to make such a grant is not only going to bring a dumpster-full of backlash, as it should, from the gay and lesbian community; it will also paint Canadians with a black eye on the world stage, also as it should.
Anti-gay religious group gets funding from Ottawa to work in Uganda

An evangelical organization that describes homosexuality as a “perversion” and a “sin” is receiving funding from Ottawa for its work in Uganda, where gays and lesbians face severe threats.
By Lina Dib and Fannie Olivier The Canadian Press,  inToronto Star, February 10, 2013

OTTAWA—An evangelical organization that describes homosexuality as a “perversion” and a “sin” is receiving funding from the federal government for its work in Uganda, where gays and lesbians face severe threats.
Ottawa has denounced virulent homophobia in that East African country and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has condemned plans for an anti-gay bill that could potentially include the death penalty for homosexuals.
At the same time the federal government is providing $544,813 in funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) for Crossroads Christian Communications — an Ontario-based evangelical group that also produces television programming like 100 Huntley Street — to help dig wells, build latrines and promote hygiene awareness in Uganda through 2014.
Until Tuesday, the organization’s website carried a list of “sexual sins” deemed to be “perversion”: “Turning from the true and/or proper purpose of sexual intercourse; misusing or abusing it, such as in pedophilia, homosexuality and lesbianism, sadism, masochism, transvestism, and bestiality.”
Lower down the page, the group asks sinners to “repent.”
“God cares too much for you (and all of His children) to leave such tampering and spiritual abuse unpunished,” according to the group’s website.
Just hours after The Canadian Press contacted the group to ask a spokesperson about the site, the page in question disappeared from public view.
Last October, Baird denounced abuses against gays and lesbians and specifically singled out Uganda in a speech at an international conference in Quebec City.
“We will speak out on the issues that matter to Canadians — whether it is the role and treatment of women around the world, or the persecution of gays,” Baird told the Inter-Parliamentary Union conference. “Canada will speak out.”
In that speech, Baird shared the story of a Ugandan gay-rights advocate who was bludgeoned to death in his own home.
That speech provoked an angry reaction from the head of the Ugandan delegation, Rebecca Kadaga, who accused Baird of “arrogance” and “ignorance” and demanded an apology.
Crossroads defends its position on homosexuality as grounded in scripture.
“Crossroads’ views on sexuality are informed by our Christian faith and values,” spokeswoman Carolyn Innis told The Canadian Press in an email.
She said the projects funded by CIDA do not include evangelical work and are focused on specific objectives.
The government sought to keep its distance from Crossroads’ opinion on homosexuality,
“Our government does not endorse these particular views,” Baird spokesman Rick Roth said in an email. “Canada’s views are clear — we have been strongly opposed to the criminalization of homosexuality or violence against people on the basis of their sexual orientation.”
The minister responsible for CIDA, Julian Fantino, has also said funding is doled out “on merit.”
A CIDA spokeswoman, Amy Mills, added in an email: “Canada’s views are clear — we have been strongly opposed to the criminalization of homosexuality or violence against people on the basis of their sexual orientation.”
She offered no comment on Crossroads’ views on homosexuality.



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