Zimbabwe's president has reiterated his
opposition to protecting gay men and lesbians in a constitution being
drawn up under a power sharing deal, the AFP reported.
“We say no to gay rights,”
President Robert Mugabe told a crowd Sunday. “We will not listen
to those advocating for their rights in the new constitution.”
Zimbabwe is preparing a new
constitution to make way for new elections after Mugabe and Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai agreed to a power-sharing government a
year ago. Both men are opposed to gay rights.
“Women make up 52% of the
population,” Tsvangirai said in March. “There are more women
than men, so why should men be proposing to men?”
The group Gays And Lesbians of Zimbabwe
(GALZ) has confirmed it will submit a gay protections measure to the
constitutional review commission.
Being gay is illegal in Zimbabwe.
A pair of GALZ
employees were hauled away by police in May after officers stormed
the offices of the gay rights group. They face charges of
possessing pornographic materials and insulting Mugabe. The second
charge is in connection to a plaque found hanging in the group's
offices that features former San Francisco Mayor Willie Lewis Brown
denouncing Mugabe's homophobia, the group's lawyer said.
Mugabe's harshest criticism of gay men
and lesbians came in 1995, when he told a crowd including diplomats
that such people were “lower than pigs or dogs.”