Toronto Diary
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CIDA gives more than $500,000 to anti-gay group for Uganda work

As most of you already know, Uganda is in the midst of debating a hugely anti-gay bill, colloquially known as the “Kill the Gays” bill. And yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like.

Naturally, you would figure that the Canadian federal government wouldn’t be spending money to make the matter worse than it already is. Except they totally are. CIDA, the Canadian International Development Agency, just gave mroe than $500,000 to an anti-gay group, which will be working in Uganda and surely won’t be easing the homophobic atmosphere currently choking the country.

The federal government 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.

Nevertheless, the federal government is providing $544,813 in funding for Crossroads Christian Communications — an Ontario-based evangelical group that produces television programming — 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."

Further down the page, the group asks sinners to “repent.” [SOURCE]

Really? You honestly couldn’t find any other group out there that was willing to help out in Uganda without enabling a fatally anti-gay culture? If you’re going to try to help out a country in dire need of international aid, perhaps it might not be the best idea to exacerbate one of their biggest problems. 

UPDATE (Feb 11, 12:26): Well, that was fast: CIDA has halted funding for Crossroads Christian Communications, pending a review of the organization’s policies. 

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