Legal news update

Gay gathering sparks row between Ethiopia church and state | Reuters

Gay gathering sparks row between Ethiopia church and state  | Reuters.

By Aaron Maasho

ADDIS ABABA Nov 29 (Reuters) – A meeting organised by an African gay lobby group ahead of an AIDS conference in Ethiopia has sparked a rare spat between the government and religious groups.

Religious leaders demand the cancellation of the gathering scheduled for Saturday, organised by African Men for Sexual Health and Rights, saying it would violate the country’s conservative culture.

State officials, however, are unwilling to budge having lobbied hard to win hosting rights for the influential 16th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa due to start a day later.

On Tuesday, Abune Paulos, partriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, joined the Muslim mufti and the heads of the Catholic and Protestant churches for a meeting before delivering scathing remarks about homosexuals to the media.

Young church activists handed out dossiers railing against the weekend meeting on “men who have sex with men (MSM) in Africa and HIV”, which is scheduled to feature presentations from 15 experts.

“We were prompted to sound this alarm after this group launched immoral activities that would tarnish and dirty our culture,” read part of the dossier.

Health Minister Tedros Adhanom met the religious leaders but made no denunciation of the gay group’s gathering. Abune Paulos afterwards told reporters: “We will continue to pray.”

Homosexuality is taboo in many African nations. It is illegal in 37 countries on the continent, including Ethiopia, and activists say few Africans are openly gay, fearing imprisonment, violence and loss of jobs.

Homosexual acts in Ethiopia carry penalties of imprisonment of up to 15 years.

Religious leaders, including Abune Paulos, have in the past called for a constitutional ban on homosexuality, which they once termed “the pinnacle of immorality.”

“For people to act in this manner they have to be dumb, stupid like animals,” he told reporters in 2008. “We strongly condemn this behaviour. They have to be disciplined and their acts discriminated, they have to be given a lesson.” (Editing by David Clarke)

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6 replies »

  1. I think this homosexual thing is insane.and it should be banned.specially because of the fact that it is against habesha tradition and is all thanks to the western movies that this whole mess is every Ethiopian around the world fall in and listen up.let’s just find our tradition,culture and personality

  2. I have no comment on Gay, in general. But, I want to ask you that how far can it take those lobby groups in making it possible, in view of the Ethiopian law? I think it is a criminal act. Is not it?

    • You should not underestimate the power of these lobby groups. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Prime Minister David Cameron and other western leaders are threatening to block aid to African Countries, unless they recognize and give protection to LGTB (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender ) rights. Click HERE to watch Clinton’s recent speech on LGTB rights

  3. realy it is ashit thing those people should be put under prison .they are dumb, stupid like animals so we strongly condommn such behavior.

  4. u know when i read the part that says ” homosexual acts in ethiopia can lead to imprisonment up to 15 years” something inside me jumped with joy……i say these homosexuals should be banned from all over the world….. i hope ill here some more from u sooner about this thing, especially more about their conference (the homosexuals in addis ababa had)….lol

  5. this act of homosexuals must be abandoned and the peoples who organized the meeting has to be legally accused and sentenced. From my point of view, their act is nothing to do with human right rather,extreme sort of luxury our richer people who doesn’t have a place to put their extra money are behind this , because with all our problems in hand homosexual issue is off sore,,,

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