Gambia’s president, Yahya Jammeh, suggested yesterday that gays in his country need to exterminated like malaria causing mosquitoes.
He added that LGBT (the ever-growing abbreviation for gay rights), actually stands for “leprosy, gonorrhoea, bacteria and tuberculosis.”
According to Reuters, Jammeh gave a speech which included the following: “We will fight these vermins called homosexuals or gays the same way we are fighting malaria-causing mosquitoes, if not more aggressively…. We will therefore not accept any friendship, aid or any other gesture that is conditional on accepting homosexuals or LGBT as they are now baptised by the powers that promote them. As far as I am concerned, LGBT can only stand for Leprosy, Gonorrhoea, Bacteria and Tuberculosis; all of which are detrimental to human existence.”
Jammeh joins a growing number of African dictators who have chosen to scapegoat gay and trans people in order to divert attention from their corrupt administrations. Russian president Vladimir Putin has cracked down on gay and trans people in his country for much the same reason.
Nigeria, for example, recently signed into law legislation providing a prison sentence of 14 years for anyone convicted entering into a gay marriage or civil union. Showing same-sex affection in public is punishable by 10 years in prison, as is going to, or operating, a gay club, society or organization.
Uganda recently passed a law mandating life imprisonment for gays who commit “aggravated homosexuality.” Aggravated homosexuality includes having “gay sex” with someone who is HIV positive or someone who has a disability (apparently, the Ugandan legislature thinks this somehow “helps” people with disabilities). It’s also aggravated homosexuality, and life in prison, if you’re caught having “gay sex” more than once.
Ghana, once touted as a beacon of democracy in Africa, also has started targeting gays in the past few years.
Homophobia in Africa and Russia has been aided and abetted in recent years by America’s religious right. Frustrated by their increasing inability to foment anti-gay hate in America, and the increasing disdain a growing number of Republicans seem to have for their political extremism, American “Christian conservatives” are now busy spreading hate and intolerance across Africa, Russia and Europe.