The United States has criticized a West
African leader's threat to slit the throats of gay men and said that
it was considering sanctions.
Gambian President Yahya Jammeh was
quoted by Vice News making the threat during a rally earlier
this month in the town of Farafeni.
“If you do it [in Gambia], I will
slit your throat,” Jammeh said. “If you are a man and want to
marry another man in this country and we catch you, no one will ever
set eyes on you again, and no white person can do anything about it.”
In a statement given to the Washington
Blade, National Security Advisor Susan Rice called the
“The recent unconscionable comments
by Gambian President Yahya Jammeh underscore why we must continue to
seek a world in which no one lives in fear of violence or persecution
because of who they are or whom they love,” she said.
Rice's comments, made Saturday,
included a reference to the International Day Against Homophobia and
Transphobia (IDAHOT), observed annually on May 17.
“Tomorrow, the international
community will mark the International Day Against Homophobia and
Transphobia. This day and every day, the United States stands in
solidarity with members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and
transgender (LGBT) community and all those around the world who work
to advance the unassailable principle that LGBT rights are human
says LGBT rights are human rights in IDAHOT message.)
Earlier this week, the Human Rights
Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, and the
Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights joined in
calling for the White House to condemn Jammeh's remarks and increase
sanctions against The Gambia, including travel restrictions for the
nation's top political leaders.
Rice said that the United States in
2014 ended trade preferences with The Gambia in response to human
“[W]e are reviewing what additional
actions are appropriate to respond to this worsening situation,”