Recently, the Republican National Convention accidentally leaked a draft of the party’s foreign policy platform. The subsection on foreign aid contained a rather peculiar criticism of President Obama’s policy in the area:
The effectiveness of our foreign aid has been limited by the cultural agenda of the current Administration, attempting to impose on foreign countries, especially the peoples of Africa, legalized abortion and the homosexual rights agenda. At the same time, faith-based groups — the sector that has had the best track record in promoting lasting development — have been excluded from grants because they will not conform to the administration’s social agenda. We will reverse this tragic course, encourage more involvement by the most effective aid organizations, and trust developing peoples to build their future from the ground up.
The phrase “homosexual agenda” is, historically speaking, a term used by anti-gay crusaders to imply that people asking for equal rights have some kind of sinister plan for society.
Indeed, U.S. pressure on this front caused Malawi, which had recently sentenced a gay couple to 14 years in prison for having sex, to rethink its radically anti-gay laws. Both Liberia and Uganda have proposed executing gay citizens as part of a continent-wide wave of anti-gay legislation aided and abetted by the American Christian Right. Further, anti-gay stigma and legislation contribute significantly to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, suggesting that confronting these problems is critical to addressing the health issues foreign aid is supposed to address.