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MPs demand apology, full audit of CIDA funding

MPs demand apology, full audit of CIDA funding

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Government admits money was provided to anti-gay group working in Uganda
Reports that the federal agency in charge of international development has given money to an anti-gay evangelical group have been met with outrage.

What's worse, some activists say, is that the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has been providing money to Crossroads Christian Communications for its work in Uganda, a country where homosexuality is illegal and lawmakers are currently debating a bill that could further criminalize it. 

“This is absolutely appalling that this is happening,” says Metropolitan Community Church pastor Brent Hawkes. “Crossroads has been fighting against gay and lesbian rights in Canada for many, many years. There is a clear record of that. In Uganda, of all countries, to be funding them, is just an unbelievably bad decision.”

The Ontario-based evangelical group has been given $544,813 to help dig wells, build latrines and promote hygiene awareness in Uganda through 2014, the CBC reports.

Following initial reports, Julian Fantino, the minister responsible for CIDA, tweeted on Feb 10 that no further payments will be made to Crossroads until officials review the “merits” of the organization. 


Daniel Richardsen, Fantino's press secretary, says projects are delivered without religious content.

Although it has now been removed, Crossroads' website had listed a group 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," the Canadian Press reports

"God cares too much for you (and all of His children) to leave such tampering and spiritual abuse unpunished," the website stated. After CP contacted Crossroads, the list of “sexual sins” was removed.

NDP MP Olivia Chow, who is demanding the government apologize for supporting Crossroads, says there is no distinction between projects delivered by religious groups and the groups themselves.

“There are many other non-religious organizations that could do this same work, such as [groups] under the United Nations or Amnesty International,” she says. “The funding doesn’t have to go to a religious organization that has a history of discrimination.”

Chow points to a study by the Canadian Research Institute on Humanitarian Crisis and Aid that shows funding for religious non-government organizations increased 42 percent between 2005 and 2010. Secular groups saw an increase of five percent.

Uganda is on the verge of passing one of the harshest pieces of anti-gay legislation in the world. Dubbed the “Kill the Gays” bill, the sweeping law would propose longer jail terms for homosexual acts, including a life sentence in most circumstances and the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality.”

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird last year battled Uganda's parliamentary speaker over the bill, at a political conference in Quebec in October. 


Chow wants the government to keep up the pressure on Uganda.

“Canada must send a very clear message that we are watching and we don’t want any more tragedy to happen in Uganda to gay people, like the brutal murder of David Kato,” she says, recalling the well-known Ugandan gay activist who was murdered in 2011. 

In a statement to the CBC, CIDA spokeswoman Amy Mills said, "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."

However, Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett wants a full audit on all organizations that get CIDA money. She is skeptical that the funding will be put on hold.

“[Fantino] did not confirm that the money was put on hold during question period [Feb 11],” she says. “So there seems to be some confusion there still. But really, I want to see an audit of all the CIDA organizations, especially those that are faith-based.”

North American evangelical Christian groups such as Crossroads have been exacerbating much of the virulent homophobia in many African countries, says Michael Payton, the national director for the Centre for Inquiry, Canada's secular advocacy group.

Payton calls it "outrageous” that a Christian fundamentalist organization is receiving any government funding when its main purpose is evangelism. "If a charity receives government funding, the government should ensure that the programming is directed to positive societal change, not to promoting a discriminatory religious ideology."

See MP Hélène Laverdière demand answers of Fantino on why the CIDA grant was given to an anti-gay organization, which represents an ideology "that is increasingly out of step with most Canadians."

 

Comments

Xtra's Double Standards are being shown again!
World Vision does work in Uganda but they also do work in North Korea and there they have very little interest in converting people and just want to help people since the Bible demands them as Christians to help all of God's flock, no matter who they are. Again Xtra is showing Double Standards. One, did they ever interview people who work on the ground? or even ask what they do? No! Also, if this was the QuAIA and lets say those aid boats to Gaza that never seem to have nothing on board meaning no aid and heavily funded by Bashar Al Assad very homophobic government and very homophobic Marxist overloads they would be called "Humanitarians on a good will aid mission". Sorry to many double standards by Xtra.
Evangelical Gay who has worked in Uganda
I worked in Uganada for an Evangelical NGO. I believe that scripture is very clear that we need to focus on helping the poor, widowsm orphans. The living conditions there are deplorable. We need to apply God's love in our ventures there and not promote hate of anyone. Let God be the judge. Stop the starvation, clean up the water supply, but STOP gay bashing. There are many sins being committed in Uganda. Help protect these dear people from their outrageous layers of government on the take. I am ashamed of my brothers and sisters in Christ who are focusing on this issue. I could give so many examples but space here is restrictive.
I can still see it
http://crossroads.ca/life-resources/topical/sexual-sins/immorality
How CIDA can get Queer activist support
Instead of giving money to a homophobic Christian group doing work in a homophobic African country like Uganda, CIDA should have given money to a homophobic Muslim group doing work in a homophobic Muslim country. Then CIDA would be celebrated and praised by QuAIA and other Queer leftists at Pride.
Heil Harper
So here we have former Toronto police chief Fantino (also Commissioner of the OPP) pretending that the money he gives to Crossroads is not used for hate-mongering in Uganda. I guess then its OK to fund a government outside of Canada who wants our cash and to kill gays. What kind of man is this? What kind of scum are we hiring at TPS? We use organizations like CIDA (a bunch of losers who couldn't get a job at Foreign Affairs Canada) to distribute cash to deserving poor nations. For CIDA to play the willing prostitute to Uganda means a bunch of bureaucrats in Ottawa could care less that gays are murdered as long as they can protect their own paycheck and follow Furher Harper's orders. It reminds me that Canada wouldn't accept the Jews either when they tried to escape Germany and France. Crossroads is playing a murderous little game.
This is the same NAZI
who runs the death camps (prisons) for your HIV brothers and sisters? These are the same MP's who let the criminalization of HIV people be given over to this modern day NAZI? They should just shut the fuck up and clean up their own NAZI houses first. Same goes for the GAY community. PIGS.
100 Huntley Street is not the only one.
World Vision is also an Evangelical Charity which the Federal Government gives money to, whose purpose is the Evangelicalism of Africa and who promotes a cure for homosexuality. Any member of the WEA (World Evangelical Alliance) should be denied government funding.
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