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Zimbabwe President Mugabe Just Learned There are Homosexuals in His Country, Backs Uganda's Anti-Gay Law

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe spoke out in support of Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Law on Monday and condemned Western nations for threatening to cut aid, AFP reports.

MugabeSaid Mugabe:

"They (the West) want to tell us... that it's a violation of human rights, that is what they are doing to Museveni right now...The human right you have as a man is to marry another woman not to get another man to marry, we refuse that. It's a terrible world we are in, a terrible world where people want to do things that they feel will enhance their own interests."

Mugabe also said that he has become aware of a group of gays in Zimbabwe and plans to investigate:

"I understand we have a group of homosexuals in this country. I didn't know until I was told the day before yesterday. So we want to check on who is in that group."

AFP notes: "The Gays and Lesbians Association of Zimbabwe (GALZ) has long operated in the country despite Mugabe's ranting against homosexuality. Police have on several occasions raided the GALZ offices and prosecutors had laid charges against the association accusing it of operating an unregistered organisation."

Mugabe spoke out against gays last July no less than seven times, threatening to chop off their heads:

 “If you take men and lock them in a house for five years and tell them to come up with two children and they fail to do that, then we will chop off their heads. This thing (homosexuality) seeks to destroy our lineage by saying John and John should wed, Maria and Maria should wed. Imagine this son born out of an African father...Obama says if you want aid, you should accept the homosexuality practice. Aah, we will never do that.”

Mugabe has previously claimed that gay men pose a threat to women's rights, condemned the "gay filth" of European culture, as well as threatened the U.K.'s prime minister over their support of same-sex couples.


Mugabe Issues Threat To Gays: 'We Will Chop Off Their Heads'

Robert_mugabe

This latest threat came during a campaign rally in Mutare at the Aerodrome Ground. The Zimbabwean president has an extensive history of fiercely anti-gay remarks. During the rally, Mugabe told a crowd of his followers:

 “If you take men and lock them in a house for five years and tell them to come up with two children and they fail to do that, then we will chop off their heads. This thing (homosexuality) seeks to destroy our lineage by saying John and John should wed, Maria and Maria should wed. Imagine this son born out of an African father...Obama says if you want aid, you should accept the homosexuality practice. Aah, we will never do that.”

According to SW Radio Africa, Mugabe has verbally attacked gay people publicly no less than seven times during the month of July alone...

"Regardless of any personal feelings about homosexuality, a country’s leader should never call for violence against any group or individual. These unprovoked utterances by a Head of State whose rallies have so far been immediately followed by a surge in harassment of political opponents, are likely to spread fear and despondency within the gay community." 

GALZMugabe's verbal attacks have also elicited grievances from GALZ, Zimbabwe's LGBT advocacy group. The organization sent a letter to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Wednesday decrying the president's continued use of "hate speech"...

"GALZ notes with concern that ZANU PF’s instruments of intimidation and electioneering, which include the subject of gays, remains as strong as ever and is once again being used during its campaign rallies. It has become customary for the President to attempt to whip up a climate of hysterical homophobia against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people before, during and after elections."

Said "hysterical homophobia" was also why GALZ was subject to an armed assault on June 6, according to the letter, which also called for an investigation to ensure that Mugabe and his party would not hijack the political process. 

Mugabe's hateful rhetoric is also being condemned by other LGBT activists throughout Africa. Frank Malaba, a South African actor and human rights activist, has also warned of the potential repercussions of such hate speech:

“Mugabe should know that his followers listen to him and so if he gives them the go-ahead to be violent and to behead gay people, they will do that. Today it is gays and lesbians, tomorrow it will be women, albinos, whites, and anyone Mugabe dislikes. This should not be allowed in an independent country.”


Robert Mugabe Threatens Gay Couples: 'Conceive Or Go To Jail'

MugabeAs parties begin their campaigns for this month's Zimbabwe general election, President Robert Mugabe added to his extensive list of antigay attacks while addressing a crowd of supporters in Harare's Highfield township. 

“I should like to shut them-up in some room and see if they get pregnant; if they don’t then its jail because they have claimed they can have children. So, to that kind of rot, we say no, no, no, no!”

New Zimbabwe reports that the president also fiercely criticized both U.S. president Barack Obama and the Anglican Church for their recent public support of same-sex couples, apparently laughing repeatedly while he did so. Not content with simply criticizing same-sex couples for their supposed indecency, Mugabe even went so far as to "address" gay and lesbian couples directly...

“Women are also engaged in this vile activity. We have some claiming to be men but what is it that makes you a man... Show us your manhood; you want to make other women your wives and you the husband? Well, that is madness; we refuse to accept that.”

These comments are simply part of an extensive list of homophobic remarks that the Zimbabwean president has made since he was first elected in 1980. Mugabe has previously claimed that gay men pose a threat to women's rights, condemned the "gay filth" of European culture, as well as threatened the U.K.'s prime minister over their support of same-sex couples. 


Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai Denounces Homosexuality

Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who said in October 2011 that he wanted gays protected in a new constitution, is apparently not feeling that way anymore:

TsvangiraiPrime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai made a sudden U-turn and denounced homosexuality during a meeting in Harare last night. Addressing MDC-T supporters at Glen View New Hall, Prime Minister Tsvangirai denounced homosexuality and said marriages should be between a man and a woman.

“In the draft Constitution, we said marriage is between a man and a woman and those who want to marry another from the same sex, then they have a problem. Why do you want to sleep with another man?”

Here's what Tsvangirai said in 2011:

"It's a very controversial subject in my part of the world. My attitude is that I hope the constitution will come out with freedom of sexual orientation, for as long as it does not interfere with anybody."

Tsvanfirai received backlash for his remarks, but later stood his ground, saying he refused to throw stones:

“I want to put finality and closure to an issue that has been misinterpreted, the issue of the so-called gay rights. My beliefs on this issue are a matter of public record. My beliefs manifest themselves in my practice. I am a Christian associated with the Methodist church. I am a father. I am a grandfather. I am a family man. I am a Zimbabwean and I know the strong feelings of Zimbabweans about this issue. I have those strong feelings too but in the end, Zimbabweans are making their own Constitution and it is that Constitution which will bind every Zimbabwean. What I refuse to do as a loyal son of God and as a social democrat is to persecute, to judge, to condemn and to vilify people for their own opinions because judgment is a preserve of God the Almighty. The Book of Luke Chapter 6 verse 37: “Do not judge and you will not be judged, do not condemn and you will not be condemned. The Book of John Chapter 8 verse 7: “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone… So while I may differ with them, as a Christian and as a social democrat, I refuse to throw a stone at them."


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U.S. 'Stands In Solidarity' With LGBT People In Zimbabwe

MugabeThe U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe wasted no time last week in coming out against the arrest and detention of 44 LGBT activists there. Now the United States' State Department has released a condemnation of its own:

The United States condemns the Government of Zimbabwe’s violent arrest and detention of 44 members of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe on August 11 and a second raid by police on August 20.  Several of these members sustained serious medical injuries from the attacks and were detained without charges. The Government of Zimbabwe has also targeted these same members’ homes and singled out their families for interrogation and harassment. 

The United States stands in solidarity with Zimbabwe’s civil society, including LGBT activists.  We are deeply concerned when security forces become an instrument of political violence used against citizens exercising their democratic rights.  We call upon the Government of Zimbabwe to end this pattern of abuse and to eradicate the culture of impunity that allows members of the security sector to continue to violate the rights of the Zimbabwean people.

Unfortunately, Zimbabwe most likely won't clean up its act until after long-ruling President Robert Mugabe is out of office, and even then it is most likely he'll install a loyalist who abides by his hateful politics.


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