I’m reading the article on the anti-gay bill reintroduced in Uganda, and we seem to have a tug ‘o war happening with development aid there. It goes a little bit like this:

West: Leave LGBTQIA people alone or you can’t play with us and our money!

Uganda: We don’t want to play with you! Go away!

International arguments always end up sounding like kids fighting on a playground to me. It started in my International Legal Order class when we read the Nicaragua v. United States case. Basically, the US was participating in the case until the International Court of Justice decided against its argument to hear the case. After that, the US just didn’t show up or offer any defense. They just stopped playing. What I heard in my head was:

US: THIS GAME ISN’T FAIR! YOU SUCK! I’M NOT PLAYING IF I CAN’T WIN! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

If the US had a parent or nanny (ha) watching, this is the moment s/he would step in and either explain that it was fair or  strong arm the Court into doing what the bratty US wants. Let’s be honest that it would probably be the latter. Luckily, I guess, the US is its own parent and bratty child.

Back to the issue at hand. Obviously, I do not support anti-gay legislation any more than I would support anti-woman legislation. I also don’t support bullying and neo-colonialism, but I want the international community to do what it can to prevent human rights violations of any person.* Which is why I generally want powerful nations to put their resources behind domestic movements rather than making blanket aid threats.

What are your thoughts on how to approach issues like this? How do you balance individual human rights with the right to self-determination of less powerful nations?

* Side note: The listing of gay people with the directive to “Hang Them” is disturbingly similar to the Wanted Posters of abortion providers that includes their addresses (a tactic that has now online – to which I will not link because I will not give them more traffic).

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