The past decade has seen impressive gains for human rights activists desiring greater protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons. However, it has also seen regression: concerted attempts by leaders, particularly in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, to further criminalize sexual orientation and same-sex sexual activity while vilifying and marginalizing LGBT citizens.
This Article explores the recent attempt by the United States and United Kingdom to effectuate a possible solution to the rapid proliferation of these antigay statutes - threats to tie portions of foreign aid disbursements to the ways in which countries treat their LGBT citizens. After examining recent attempts at antigay legislation in a number of nations, most notably Malawi and Uganda, this Article discusses the fundamental differences between the newly proposed American and British foreign aid policies, and critiques the theories underlying their development and implementation. Ultimately, this Article concludes that the American and British attempts to protect LGBT persons through aid conditionality serves as a powerful signaling effect, but will ultimately fail to convince antigay leaders and legislators from further passing these dangerous laws.
© 2017 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston