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AFRICAN HOPE

Can Zimbabwe’s PM Undo The Country’s 116 Years Of Homophobia?

Thanks to turn of the century British colonialism, Zimbabwe still has way harsh anti-gay laws that can imprison people up to a decade just for being gay. The situation hasn’t been helped by the country’s President Robert Mugabe who once called lesbians and gay “inferior to dogs and pigs.” But Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai may help change all that.

Tsvangirai (shown in the video above) initially said that he agreed with Mugabe’s pig dog comment. But Tsvangirai recently had a change of heart and said that he wants LGBT rights protected as a human right in the country’s new constitution.

This is a big deal because Tsvangirai happens to be drafting that new constitution—one that Zimbabwe citizens will vote on just before he challenges Mugabe in the country’s upcoming general election.

It remains to be seen whether Tsvangirai’s stance will aid or hurt his Presidential chances, but at the very least it’s encoruaging to see a high-ranking public official in Africa come out in support for gay rights. Let’s hope it becomes a trend.

By:           Daniel Villarreal
On:           Oct 24, 2011
Tagged: , , ,
  • 13 Comments
    • Tyler
      Tyler

      I dig this guy.

      Oct 24, 2011 at 4:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      Mugabi will most likely have him killed.

      Mugabi has taken a country that was once called the Bread Basket of Africa and turned it into a broke famine ravaged land that can’t even support itself.

      Oct 24, 2011 at 4:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert in NYC
      Robert in NYC

      You can’t blame British colonialism any longer. These countries are independent for years. It’s religion at the root of it. The UK decriminalized homosexuality in 1967, introduced Civil Partnerships at the national level in 2004 and in March 2012, begins a marriage equality legislation. India, a former colony decriminalized sexual orientation as did South Africa. Canada, Australia, New Zealand, all British commonwealth countries have moved on too. If they and the UK can do, so can the rest.

      Oct 24, 2011 at 4:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael
      Michael

      Tsvangirai (shown in the video above) initially said that he agreed with Mugabe’s pig dog comment. But Tsvangirai recently had a change of heart and said that he wants LGBT rights protected as a human right in the country’s new constitution.

      This is the problem I have with this.First he initially agreed with that idiot who claimed we were inferior to dogs and pigs.Now all of a sudden he has a change of heart and people are supposed to trust his word? Sorry but once a flip flopper always a flip flopper I would not be surprised if he changes his mind yet AGAIN.I’d love to know why so quickly he took this stance.I don’t accept a persons words at face values their actions are the proof needed to clarify and solidify what they have to say.Actions speak louder then words.

      Oct 24, 2011 at 8:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Reason
      Reason

      @Michael: Sometimes you have to be in the system before you change it, we take for granted the freedoms we have in this country. People in places around the world think we are crazy when we say we are oppressed because it is an entirely different ball game in some countries. Mugabe was still the dictator when he was challenged by Tsvangirai, if Tsvangirai said something supporting GBLT Mugabe could have legally had him incarcerated. What good would that have done? Now he is in a position of power where he can actually change things. To call someone a flip flopper who was nearly killed by Mugabe, he was beaten and stabbed after wining, is utterly ridiculous. The fact that Mugabe is still in power after losing the election tells you how powerful he is. Tsvangirai nearly made the ultimate sacrifice to try to make life better for others by challenging Mugabe now he has put his life on the line again to protect GBLT. Trust me there is no political benefit for standing up for GBLT there, in this instance “just words” can get him killed. How many U.S. politicians or even gay citizens would put their life on the line to protect someone else let alone a despised minority that they are not a part of?

      Oct 25, 2011 at 12:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • perron
      perron

      @Robert in NYC: “You can’t blame British colonialism any longer. These countries are independent for years. It’s religion at the root of it.”

      And who do you think brought the Christian religion to Zimbabwe?

      Oct 25, 2011 at 12:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Reason
      Reason

      @Robert in NYC: I don’t think it is that simple, the British and most of the commonwealth countries have education that allowed them to progress. Zimbabwe’s lack of education hinders personal growth and leads them stagnated in time with the British culture of that time. The one message that does get past down is mistrust of the west from there brutality, ironically, sprinting away from the current day west has left them clutching to the provisions of the cruel and opressive west of the past. The colonist are still dangling the strings from the grave, to get them to realize that is difficult.

      I kinda of see the same thing with Christianity, the GBLT community has let the bigots define what it means to be a Christian. Playing right into there hands the community has rejected it, if there is a hell the bigots will drag to many of us down there with them. At some point one has to be smart enough to take of the shackle and arrive at there own conclusions based on there own thinking, not guided by the thoughts of those that have hate in there souls. Which ever conclusion one draws is fine, as long as it is purely there own, that’s true free will.

      Oct 25, 2011 at 3:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RJ
      RJ

      “It remains to be seen whether Tsvangirai’s stance will aid or hurt his Presidential chances, but at the very least it’s encoruaging to see a high-ranking public official in Africa come out in support for gay rights. Let’s hope it becomes a trend.”

      South Africa has better gay rights then most of the USA. This comment is rather insulting to that, it’s as if Tsvangirai(who likely developed his pro-LGBT stance due to relations with SA) is the first African politician to be pro-LGBT. Don’t disregard other countries please.

      Oct 25, 2011 at 8:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael
      Michael

      @Reason:

      First of all I had never heard of this person until yesterday so I had no idea any of that happened to him to begin with. If I were him id get the hell out of such a violent and unstable place as Zimbabwe to begin with.This is after all the same place they wanted to make some kind of bill that would execute gay americans if they were caught having sex with one another or even being with each other.Correct me if im wrong please feel free to I know Uganda was the one who did that.But I thought Zimbabwe was just as bad I could be wrong in that assumption easily I am not quite sure myself.

      Oct 25, 2011 at 11:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Interesting
      Interesting

      @Robert in NYC: Actually you can and should blame the force that destroyed the culture of a country, replacing it with British culture and ideas. this has happened across the planet. Indeed, 118 years is really just 2 life times ago, which is nothing in social history time span.

      And, let’s not forget the British were replaced by the American influence.

      You can see, the same impact, by the way on Indian law and indeed on religions such as Hinduism. Both had no issues with homosexuality until the British pushed it into being a part of the culture.

      Oct 25, 2011 at 12:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Interesting
      Interesting

      American Christians

      Let’s also not forget that American Christians have pushed their faith based approaches abroad, often advocating for things that they never would domestically in the U.S. such as people like Rich Warren in Africa. So when people say “don’t blame the west- you must be kidding.

      Oct 25, 2011 at 12:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mykey
      Mykey

      as noble as this may seem, he may lose a lot of votes, coz Africa is still really homophobic, and homosexuality is still seen as a mental illness

      Oct 25, 2011 at 3:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Interesting
      Interesting

      @Mykey: Change has to start somewhere. 30 years ago the same would have true in the U.S.

      Oct 25, 2011 at 10:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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