Zambia and Ethiopia are the ‘next Uganda’

Seyoum Antonios
Seyoum Antonios

Anti-gay sentiment increases after the export of more Western Evangelical hate

By Cathy Kristofferson

Zambia and Ethiopia appear poised to be the next ‘Kill the Gays’ countries.  Is that really something nations should aspire to?  Melanie Nathan has documented the current struggles in Zambia here on OBLOGDEE , from the arrest of HIV/AIDS rights activist Paul Kasonkomona to the jailing of James Mwape and Phillip Mubiana.  (All articles are posted at the end of this article.)

Zambia’s Ministry of Home Affairs head of public relations Moses Suwali now says it will soon start screening non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and those found championing homosexual rights will risk being arrested and de-registered.  This is exactly the path taken by the Ugandans in their quest to trample on  organizations which served the interests of LGBTI communities in that country.

Suwali said:

“We will not succumb to external pressure to accept homosexual rights, we have values that guide us and we will stick to that and we will not change our stance just like in countries in the Middle East who do not tolerate beer drinking.”

Escalating their animosity towards the LGBTI community Ethiopia is proposing a Ugandan-like “Kill The Gays” bill.  An Ethiopian anti-gay organization has announced it is looking to follow Uganda and implement their version of “The Kill the Gaye Bill” legislation, which would seek the death penalty against lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in the country.

Unlike Zambia and Uganda, however, Ethiopia remained an independent nation throughout history and so it does not have the leftover British Colonial Penal Code plaguing so many countries around the world.  They do, however, have their own Criminal Code making homosexual acts illegal (already): “Whoever performs with another person of the same sex a homosexual act, or any other indecent act, is punishable with simple imprisonment.”  Punishment is “Imprisonment of 10 years or more”.

Last week, the anti-gay United for Life Ethiopia, a Western Evangelical Christian organization with local Ethiopian representation, held a workshop LGBTI issues.   The workshop reportedly looked at the social ‘evils’ and ‘disastrous’ effects of homosexuality on the country alleging the familiar myth,  such as ‘homosexuality has nothing to do with nature’ and supplying stories such as ‘”homosexual family members and neighbors have sexually abused 117 boys last year.”

The workshop, held at the Bethel Teaching Hospital, was attended by government officials, religious leaders, leading heath professionals, charities and members of the public.

They scare the public [into thinking] that homosexuals are raping children and then ’recruit’ them into homosexuality.”  -noted a Rainbow Ethiopia representative.

Following the workshop the Ethiopian Inter-Religious Council Against Homosexuality (EICAH) is now reporting that the death penalty against gay people in Ethiopia may be on the horizon.  So a workshop described to “feed the public false information and wild allegations” and as a creating “moral panic” sounds exactly like the scorched earth left behind  in Uganda when Scott Lively held his infamous workshop just a couple months before their “Kill The Gays” bill emerged.

This is more anti-gay hate perpetrated by Western Evangelicals in a country where homosexuality is already criminalized. When will the U.S. State Department and/or the United Nations stop these propaganda hate-filled events from happening?  The public was invited so clearly this was not some clandestine secret or private meeting.  If, as both organization have publicly stated, they believe “gay rights are human rights” and “LGBT rights is one of the great, neglected human rights challenges of our time”  and  “we must right these wrongs” why let the ‘wrongs’ keep happening?

Will Zimbabwe be the next to join the race?


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10 thoughts on “Zambia and Ethiopia are the ‘next Uganda’

  1. Kill the gays. they are poisnous to society. Africa needs, roads, schools, health facilities, economic support not funds for gay activities.

    1. What is poisonous to society is the hate-filled lies-filled homophobic rhetoric being spewed about the gay communities in Africa. Look – it poisoned you.

  2. … history repeats itself! The way to prevent this is by getting educated and informed. Keep the pressure mounting …. this may save lives!!!

    1. Way too far; agree!!! Tolerance is the best medicine for this world in which we are living!! Differences should be embraced. No need for violence. We ALL are ONE!!!

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