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Germany Cuts Aid to Malawi Over Criminalization of Lesbianism

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The German government is cutting aid to Malawi in half because of recent decisions by Malawi's parliament to criminalize lesbianism and restrict freedom of the press. Male homosexuality was already a crime under that country's laws. reports that this is the first time that the German Development Ministry has reduced aid because of a country's policies regarding homosexuality.

Germany's development minister, Dirk Niebel, has been quoted in the past as saying that "bilateral cooperation in development aid policy can be discontinued when a partner government willfully and systematically violates the human rights of sexual minorities."

Perhaps not coincidentally, Germany's foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, is the first openly gay person to hold that position.

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