Gambian President Yahya Jammeh on Tuesday claimed that gay rights threaten Gambia's culture.

Speaking at a swearing-in ceremony of cabinet ministers, Jammeh, 46, described homosexuality as a Western notion being imposed on the African nation.

“If we Africans are to build our societies based on outside dictates and structure our cultures based alien cultures, we will be the losers,” quoted him as saying. “But if they think they can sit there and dictate [to] us how we should live, then Gambia will be the exception.”

Jammeh's comments were widely seen as a response to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's recent appeal to African leaders to respect gay rights.

“One form of discrimination ignored or even sanctioned by many states for too long has been discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” Ban said last month during a two-day summing in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also recently said it was a “violation of human rights when governments declare it is illegal to be gay.”

Jammeh went on to say that gay rights threaten Gambian culture.

“It's [gay marriage] not in the Bible or Qur'an. It's an abomination,” he said. “I am telling you this because the new wave of evil that they want to impose on us will not be accepted by this country.”

“As long as I am the president, I am not going to accept it in my government and in this country. We know what human rights are. Human beings of the same sex cannot marry or date. We are not from evolution but we are from creation and we know the beginning of creation – that was Adam and Eve.”

“Did God make a mistake? No! If you think it is human right to destroy our culture, you are making a mistake because if you are in Gambia, you are in the wrong place. Discipline based on our tradition will be enforced to the letter.”

Gay sex is a crime in Gambia punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment.