Gambian Officials Prize Homophobia Over Foreign Aid

Gambian Foreign Minister Bala Garba Jahumpa

Gambian officials are vowing to defy European pressure to scrap the country’s draconian “jail the gays” law that calls for lifelong prison sentences for many LGBT people, even if that means forfeiting millions of dollars in aid, according to Reuters.

At stake in the dispute are the lives, safety, and freedom of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Gambians — some of whom have already been arrested and abused since the law’s secret enactment by President Yahya Jammeh in September.

Last month, Amnesty International reported that authorities had arrested five men, a 17-year-old boy, and three women under the new law. The men, women, and teen were reportedly subjected to torture and demands by police that they reveal the names of others “guilty” of homosexuality.

Also at stake is a European Union aid package worth more than $150 million euros, initially aimed at creating economic partnerships between E.U. nations and countries in sub-Saharan Africa based on trade and human rights agreements. Yet Gambia appears willing to lose out on its share of the package in order to hold on to institutionalized homophobia…

  • The Goat

    The best thing they could do for themselves is to stop accepting foreign “aid”.

    • favill

      Absolutely. Much like welfare–“aid” tends to help only the indolent, thus increasing their numbers and creating “learned helplessness” in the population. Perhaps, this is Europe’s way of trying to get their empires back.

    • Bataviawillem

      Correct. food aid destroys local food growers, and financial aid fuels corruption.

  • tom_billesley

    They don’t need the EU aid package – there’ll be a lot more money coming in to fight Ebola and plenty will be diverted into the coffers of corrupt officials.

  • favill

    I’m wondering if the LGBT crowd will be going to Gambia to protest this law.

    • Justin

      Tens of Thousands of Christians are being murdered by Western-allied Islamic groups and governments each year and Canada and the West yawns and turns the other way few homosexual activists are harassed and the West withhold hundreds of million of dollars to countries who are harassing homosexuals and they may even send armies to “protect” the few homosexual activists in those countries. What does this tell us about Western societies and their governments?