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Trudeau government to give $1.7 million in funding for LGBTQ groups abroad

By Quinn Patrick, True North Wire

The Trudeau government announced it will pledge $1.7 million to international groups that support LGBTQ people in the wake of criticism that it has not combatted anti-gay legislation in other countries.

Liberal MP Anita Vandenbeld made the announcement at a conference hosted by the Dignity Network, a coalition of Canadian groups that support LGBTQ people internationally.

The conference was attended by activists around the globe, who have called upon the Trudeau government to do more to protect sexual minorities abroad.

According to Global Affairs Canada, the delay in funding for these groups is the result of the COVID-19 lockdown as well as a lengthy consultation process, however, the department claimed it was now ready to ramp up spending.

Additionally, activists are urging Ottawa to disavow homophobic legislation in Uganda and Ghana, claiming it has a responsibility to prevent the erosion of human rights globally.

Of the new funding, $1 million will go to a research project led by the U.S. aid department on how groups in different countries can reduce stigma and also act in times of crises.

The remainder of the funding will go to Rainbow Railroad, a Toronto-based organization which examines the forced displacement of sexual minorities around the world by cooperating with local governments.

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