A senior official in the cabinet of Zimbabwe's notoriously notoriously anti-gay President Robert Mugabe has called for the forced evictions of gays and lesbians. Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo made the remarks to a meeting of traditional chiefs last Friday, reports New Zimbabwe.
"The chiefs are there to protect and promote our cultural values and those who support same sex marriages must be banished from the communities and be dispossessed of their land," Chombo said. "What kind of madness is this that when we have beautiful women in our country some people want to marry other men?"
Chombo was speaking to hundreds of villagers and traditional leaders. ... Among the traditional leaders in attendance was Chief Gampu Sithole of Tsholotsho who said, "As chiefs, we are very clear on homosexuals. We denounce them. I agree with Minister Chombo that those who support homosexuality should be expelled from our communities and their land forfeited."
This was the latest in a series of harsh, anti-gay remarks from leadership in Mugabe's party, the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front. President Barack Obama's historic announcement on marriage equality was described as "the worst form of Satanism" by one legislator, reported The Zimbabwe Mail.
As expected, Zimbabwe's interim draft constitution that will face public referendum "does not contain language protecting gay and lesbian rights." This is despite calls by opposition leader and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to include such protections in the new charter. Mugabe entered into a coalition government with Tsvangirai in 2008. Elections and the constitutional referendum are expected later this year.
Same-sex acts are currently illegal in Zimbabwe, as they are in at least 38 of 54 African countries. Four nations—Mauritania, Nigeria, Somalia and Sudan—boast the death penalty for gays or same-sex activity. South Africa and Seychelles are the only African nations that protect LGBT rights. The neighboring Republic of South Africa is also the only African nation to guarantee marriage equality.
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