November 6, 2013 at 2:00 pm EST | by Staff reports
Controversy over HRC’s international push
Paul E. Singer, Paul Singer, gay news, Washington Blade

Republican donor Paul Singer has contributed to a new Human Rights Campaign initiative to promote global LGBT rights. (Photo by the World Economic Forum; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

WASHINGTON—The Human Rights Campaign on Nov. 3 announced a new initiative designed to support pro-LGBT efforts around the world.

The Paul E. Singer Foundation and the Daniel S. Loeb Family Foundation will give at least $3 million in grants to the HRC Foundation over the next three years in support of various objectives. These include providing fellowships to LGBT activists outside the U.S. and highlighting American groups that support homophobic and transphobic initiatives in other countries.

“Every day around the world, LGBT individuals face arrest, imprisonment, torture and even execution just for being who they are,” said Singer, a Republican who has donated more than $10 million to same-sex marriage efforts in Maryland and other states. “Some of the worst offenders in this area also happen to be the same regimes that have dedicated themselves to harming the United States and its democratic allies across the globe.”

Consensual same-sex sexual relations remain illegal in 76 countries. Sudan, Mauritania and a handful of other nations continue to impose the death penalty upon anyone found guilty of homosexuality.

Some LGBT rights advocates questioned the new initiative and in particular Singer’s funding of it.

“HRC is receiving its money for gay rights in the Third World from the man who ‘virtually invented vulture funds’: a form of speculation that’s one of the worst contributors to Third World poverty ever,” Scott Long, who is the former executive director of Human Rights Watch’s LGBT program, wrote on his blog.

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