Canada minister stops funding anti-gay religious group

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By Jeanette Obaldia

The person responsible for the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has put a halt to funding an anti-gay religious organization doing work in Uganda, where being gay or lesbian is considered dangerous. 

Crossroads Christian Communication, the evangelical group facing these homophobic allegations, has received $544,813 from the federal government in Canada. 

Eyebrows were raised at Crossroads after a list of “sexual sins” posted on their website were brought up. The list included what they considered “perversions.” 

“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 website also went on to ask “sinners” to repent. The list was taken down last Tuesday, but didn’t go unnoticed by Fantino.

“While original content is down, I have asked officials to review this organization before further payments are made,” Minister Julian Fantino said on his Twitter page Sunday making the announcement. 

Although the Canadian government is against any country opposing punishment against gays and lesbians, Crossroads has been receiving funding for their work in Uganda, which includes promoting good hygiene and building wells. 

In November last year, Ugandan lawmakers proposed a bill to push for harsher penalties against gays, which could mean life in prison and/or the death penalty. Activists for same sex rights have been brutally beaten and outcasted.

A similar bill was presented back in 2009, but the country received backlash from world leaders, who threatened to stop giving money to Uganda. 

Last October, Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird spoke at an international conference and used Uganda as a specific example of countries mistreating gays and lesbians. 

Further investigation on the Crossroads Christian Communication is underway, but until then the plug is pulled on any future payments. 

“We strongly oppose criminalization of homosexuality and violence due to sexual orientation. CIDA funds projects based on merit,” Fantino said.

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