Add Ethiopia to the list of places that are crying foul at Western governments’ decision to consider a developing country’s anti-homosexuality laws before renewing foreign aid.
Current law in Ethiopia provides for prison terms of 10 days to three years for homosexual activity. In 2008, religious leaders advocated adding a ban on gay activities to the country’s constitution.
Ethiopians’ latest protests came on June 9 during a 2,000-person national conference entitled “Homosexuality and its Associated Social Disastrous Consequences” at the African Union headquarters in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.
At the conference, government officials, religious leaders and others took a stand against LGBT rights and claimed that homosexuality is a Western epidemic.
During the conference, Gay Star News reported, an Ethiopian government spokesman said:
Recently, the U.S. President Barack Obama, British Prime Minster David Cameron and other Western leaders are trying to establish ties between aid and the rights of homosexuals, but this will never happen in Ethiopia.
We don’t want their aid as long as it is related to homosexuality, I assure you that Ethiopia has no room for homosexuality and our country will be the graveyard of homosexuality.
Dozens of African nations have laws against homosexuality, and many of them have complained about the proposal to tie aid to human rights, including LGBT rights. Perhaps the only exception is Malawi, where new President Joyce Banda is seeking the repeal of anti-LGBT laws.
The conference was organized by Seyoum (or Sium) Antonius, president of United for Life, a Christian group that describes itself as pro-life and pro-marriage.
Dr. Seyoum Antonius presented findings of his ‘study’ that ‘proved’ that homosexuality is a result of inappropriate upbringing and leads to STDs, HIV and ‘severe psychological disorders’.
This directly contradicts the view of professional medical and psychological bodies around the world, including the World Health Organization.
- LGBT people in Ethiopia: ‘stigma, mob violence, arrest’ (76crimes.com)
- Unlawful Imprisonment In Ethiopia: Intimidated, Tortured And Detained – OpEd (eurasiareview.com)
- VOA Reporter Detained in Ethiopia (voanews.com)