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Canadian boost for Tanzania’s homophobia (2)

As the leader of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania prepares for today’s threatened round-up of homosexuals, we reprint the second of two articles from 2014 about Canadian support for Tanzania’s growing anti-gay prejudices. Here, “Exporting hate from Canada to Tanzania” by Denis LeBlanc.

Exporting hate from Canada to Tanzania, part 2

by Denis LeBlanc

November 21, 2014

St Philips College
St Philips College

A Toronto, Ontario, Canada woman, just returned from Tanzania, attended and heard the anti-gay keynote address delivered by the by Canadian theologian, Dr. Gary Badcock, at St. Philip’s Theological College in Kongwa, on November 8th.

Yesterday, on November 20th, she wrote to request Huron University College strongly sanction the professor for his homophobic speech in Tanzania, which she found “offensive and inappropriate.”  Our reporter, Maurice Tomlinson, knows the author.  She has requested anonymity for privacy reasons.

Huron University College Chapel (Photo: Wikipedia)
Huron University College Chapel (Photo: Wikipedia)

St. Philip’s Theological College in Kongwa, Tanzania, founded by a Huron College alumnus, was celebrating its 100th anniversary and had invited a speaker from Huron University College, now affiliated with the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada.

We reproduce here, in part, her letter to Huron’s Principal.

During his speech he (Dr. Gary Badcock) commented that he had hoped that all the Bishops would have been present since the Bishops in Canada would not listen to him…

Towards the end of his talk he decided to address homosexuality.  He claimed that homosexuality is a “first world problem”…it is a matter of economics, i.e. those in Tanzania need to have children for economic reasons so they can’t be gay.., whereas those in the West don’t have those same economic needs….(Tanzanians) should be very worried about homosexuals coming to “steal” their children.

I am sure I don’t have to point out how offensive and inappropriate this was, however, it was also factually incorrect.  The law in mainland Tanzania punishes male homosexuality with 30 years to life imprisonment, and on Zanzibar it is 25 years to life for men, and 5 years imprisonment or a 500,000 Tsh fine for women.

These laws have recently been affirmed, this is not some archaic provision.

As to Dr. Babcock’s hate mongering … He clearly did not even bother to check out the laws of Tanzania which are incredibly strong when it comes to the adoption of children by foreigners.  The laws are such that there is simply no way a gay or lesbian couple could arrive and ‘steal’ a child, because residency is the first condition of adoption.  Obviously Dr. Badcock was more concerned with his agenda than the veracity of his claims…

…it was inappropriate and harmful to the reputation of Huron University College to send Dr. Badcock as your representative.  Dr. Badcock’s views should reasonably have been known to your office, and his private agenda in going should not have been too difficult to ascertain…since Huron University College, is funded in part by Canadian Taxpayers, this exporting of homophobia is particularly problematic.

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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