Statskunskab Saturday: Pay for Anti-Gay

My favorite political story of the week has to do with the Danish nation’s condemnation of anti-gay legislation in Uganda.

Denmark gives 310 million kroner (about 62 million USD) to Uganda every year, approximately a third was normally given to the Ugandan government for state run aid.

But since the Ugandan President’s approval of an anti gay bill that gives life prison sentences to “repeat homosexuals,” as well as restricting freedom of speech by making it a crime to defend homosexuality, Denmark’s trade and development minister, Mogens Jensen made the decision to have Denmark’s monetary aid to Uganda circumvent the government.  The World Bank and other European organizations are also  (rightly) postponing monetary support to Uganda for the country’s attack on civil rights.

The Ugandan anti-gay bill is particularly interesting to me from a personal standpoint as an American from the conservative Southeast. My own state proposed a “Don’t Say Gay” bills, and Mississippi’s recent anti-gay segregation bill has used language similar to that of the old Jim Crow laws. Even if neither are as extreme as Uganda’s life sentences, the fact that both pieces of legislation have been formed in a wealthy, educated, and developed country that calls itself progressive and democratic is an outrage.

I personally think that the Federal Government could take a cue from European nations and use the old tool of block grants to speed up individual states legalization of gay marriage, in the same way that they effectively raised the country’s drinking age from 18 to 21 forty years ago.

Thanks for reading my brief take on the intersectionality of American  and Danish politics.

Mange Hilsner,



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