Barclays And Citibank Make Statements But Don’t Condemn Uganda Anti-Gay Bill

Gay Citibank customer Colin Burton’s petition on urging for Citibank and Barclays to condemn Uganda’s anti-gay bill has garnered over 500,000 signatures, prompting both banks to issue brief, noncommittal statements.

The petition notes that Barclays is Uganada’s third largest bank with more than 1,000 employees and 51 branches throughout the nation while Citibank has invested nearly $300 million in Uganda, and is a major leader in a U.S. Chamber of Commerce based in Uganda’s capital, Kampala.

“Barclays has a strong history of supporting all aspects of diversity, both in the workplace and in wider society. Equally, we are proud of playing our part in the development of economies across Africa, and the key role Barclays plays in the lives of millions of our African customers,” said a spokesperson. “Barclays is aware of the proposed legislation relating to homosexuality in Uganda and we are engaging at appropriate levels of the Ugandan Government to express our views.”

Citibank’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications David Roskin released an even shorter, more ambiguous statement:

“While the laws and cultural norms in some countries where Citi operates differ from commonly accepted global standards for human rights, Citi supports equality without regard for, among other personal characteristics, race, gender, gender identity or expression, disability, age, nationality, or sexual orientation.”

Burton criticized Citibank’s statement, calling it dismissive.

“I’m disappointed that Citi delivered a dismissive statement that is not only contradictory in its very nature, but also serves as a reminder that Citi’s refusal to speak boldly on the issue poses a very real and dangerous threat to LGBT Ugandans, many of whom are also Citi customers.”

Passage of the anti-gay bill, previously known as the “Kill the Gays” bill for prescribing the death penalty for cases of “aggravated homosexuality,” has been delayed several times but is expected to come some time before Christmas.

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  • Dumdum

    What a load of horse s**t. We should just cut all aid let the bastards fend for themselves. I know for a fact that donated items wind up being sold in the market place, very little food medicine and clothing ever make it to those whom it was intended.

  • Dumdum

    to those for whom it was intended.

  • Randy

    Hey, there’s money involved. Does anyone believe a bank will choose doing the right thing over making money?

  • jwrappaport

    Shocker. Multibillion-dollar, multinational corporations placing the bottom line above social responsibility. It’s really not a surprise given that the social, economic, and legal frameworks that undergird these companies place no real value on social justice, altruism, or even basic notions of fairness and equity: it’s all about delivering a gain to the shareholders.

  • andy_d

    I smell a boycott . . . So glad I bank with a credit union.

  • 2eo

    @Dumdum: In 2005 I was volunteering for the British Heart Foundation [I had Myocarditis early that year and nearly died of it] we sent three shipping containers to Ghana full of clothes, food and whathaveya.

    The ship arrived, a friend of my dads was captain of the cargo ship and he watched it as it arrived, first of all the leader of the government took what he wanted and then his family. Secondly the government and their families took what they wanted.

    Having took nearly half of the three containers, they then set fire to the rest, ensuring nobody else could have anything.

    Sad, but not isolated, however it is never reported as it goes against the white guilt we are supposed to have as an anchor.

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