Botswana MP says he hates gays and lesbians

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A Botswana politician says he agrees with Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe’s views on homosexuality.

Pono Moatlhodi, who is the deputy speaker of the Botswana National Assembly, told a January meeting on HIV prevention that he would “never tolerate” gays and lesbians.

The meeting, held by the Botswana Network on Ethics Law and AIDS and the Parliament AIDS Committee, was discussing how to prevent HIV transmission in prisons.

According to the Botswana Gazette, Mr Moatlhodi said: “On this point I would agree with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe who once described that behaviour as that of western dogs; I don’t like those gay people and will never tolerate them. They are demonic and evil.

“When there are so many women in this country, why would anyone choose to have sex with another man? The Bible does not agree with such a thing and therefore it is evil; if we give prisoners condoms, are we are now saying they are free?”

The newspaper reported that he said that if he had the power, he would have gay people killed.

President Mugabe once stated that gay people were “worse than pigs and dogs” and has resisted efforts to include gay rights protections in Zimbabwe’s new constitution.

Speaking to Associated Press this week, Mr Moatlhodi defended his remarks and said homosexuality was “a culture away from our culture”.

The meeting also heard from a prison inmate who said that while some prisoners turn to same-sex relationships for comfort and intimacy, others were gay.

The unnamed inmate said: “The gay lifestyle is not ‘sick’, ‘nasty’, ‘perverted’, or ‘gross’ as some people say disparagingly; it is simply two people showing love for one another, and it shouldn’t be confused with horny men in prison who are looking for the first thing that comes along.

“While we all have different views and opinions, please remember that we should not offend those who are different from us.”