Dutch embassies to research gay rights

Dutch embassy officials in 36 countries where the Netherlands has close aid ties have been asked to draw up an inventory of gay rights legislation.

The survey has been commissioned by by aid minister Bert Koenders, the Volkskrant reports on Thursday.
The paper says that in 18 countries where the Netherlands is active, homosexuality is illegal. Gay men face punishments ranging from fines and public beatings to, in three cases, a potential death sentence.
Dutch embassies in countries where homosexuality is illegal are being told to urge the authorities to scrap anti-gay legislation, the paper says.
The results of the survey will be published in a few months but will not be used as an excuse to cut development aid, a ministry spokesman told the paper.

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