Via the Afro-Gay Blog: In a nation decimated by war and drought, where millions have died of starvation, the leading clerics of Ethiopia choose "their main priority" for 2009: A constitutional ban on homosexuality.
In a meeting held in December 2008 in Addis Ababa, where heads of various congregations including the Roman Catholic, Ethiopian Orthodox and Protestant churches met, a resolution was made that seeks to end homosexuality which was branded as "the pinnacle of immorality."
Abune Paolos of Ethiopia’s Orthodox Church, the second most influential church in Ethiopia with 40 percent of the population being its devoted followers, told reporters that homosexuals are “stupid” and should not be tolerated. "For people to act in this manner they have to be dumb, stupid like animals. We strongly condemn this behavior, they have to be disciplined and their acts discriminated, they have to be taught a lesson."
The Ethiopian constitution bans any discrimination based on gender or "any other reasons." Homosexuality is not explicitly stated in the constitution, but, the penal code states that homosexuality is illegal
Sonic Casuist of ETHIOGLBTI, the only gay rights group in Ethiopia, says the small LGBT community has been forced underground. "For those of us who live here we make and build our communities. We get together and we have places to go in the evenings however nothing is out in the open, it’s a hidden community."
The clerics' anti-gay crusade comes at the same time the government reports"more than six million" citizens require emergency food assistance. Yet another example of Christian and Muslim clerics in Africa uniting to focus on their country's most important problems.