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Gays and Africa: Quotes

Wednesday February 20 2019

Gays

People wave Ugandan and rainbow flags as they take part in the Gay Pride parade in Entebbe, Uganda on August 8, 2015. More than half of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa have anti-homosexuality laws, although others have moved towards legal tolerance, say watchdogs. PHOTO | ISAAC KASAMANI | AFP 

AFP
By AFP
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Nairobi,

Kenya's High Court on Friday issues a potentially historic ruling that could roll back colonial-era laws penalising same-sex relationships.

Here is a selection of quotes illustrating the situation of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in sub-Saharan Africa:

"Worse than pigs and dogs."

- Former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe (2010)

"You cannot call an abnormality an alternative orientation. It could be that the Western societies, on account of random breeding, have generated many abnormal people."

- Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni (2014)

"As a nation and government we will not accept foreign misdemeanour because we have never known same marriages of a man to man or woman to woman and the Bible does not allow. We will not sit back and watch man marrying man, or woman and woman. We will arrest them and deal with them accordingly."

MOCKERY

- Zambian President Edgar Lungu, speaking in 2013 when he was home affairs minister

"We have no legal protection. My parents don't talk to me. In my neighbourhood and in the classroom, if people speak to me, it's with complete disdain and mockery," - Mandele Branco, a 27-year-old student in Guinea-Bissau (2018)

"If you're gay and rich you can get away with it. But if you're gay and poor, you'll end up rotting in jail for the rest of your life." - David, a Nigerian gay man (2018)

"Our men got wind of the wedding and stormed the venue where they arrested 11 young women, including the bride and the groom ... We can't allow such despicable acts to find roots in our society."

CRACKDOWN

- Abba Sufi, director-general of the Islamic law-enforcement agency in northern Nigeria, the Hisbah, referring to a raid on a lesbian wedding. (2018)

"Give me their names ... My ad hoc team will begin to get their hands on them next Monday."

- Paul Makonda, governor of Tanzania's economic capital Dar es Salam, at the launch of an anti-gay crackdown in which urged reporters to identify homosexuals (2018)

"There is this love-hate relationship from the Muslim community. Sometimes they feel that I should be thrown from the highest mountain, and sometimes they appreciate that there is one imam who is willing to work with people who they are unwilling to work with."

- Muhsin Hendricks, imam at the People's Mosque in Cape Town. Hendricks is openly gay and his teaching promotes homosexual rights (2016)

"I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place."

- South African anti-apartheid activist and Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu (2013). His daughter Mpho Tutu-van Furth was made to renounce her duties as an Anglican priest when she married a woman in 2016.