Ethiopia: Newspaper warns of gay ‘infestation’

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A popular Ethiopian daily newspaper alleges the United States and Europe are plotting to export, spread and promote homosexuality in Ethiopia.

In an article published by Yenga daily, on the 18 June, homosexuality was described as rapidly-growing ‘infestation’ whose carriers are now ‘estimated’ to have reached 16,000.

The paper also alleged that gays have an average of 75 sexual partners a year, and their ‘promiscuous’ nature propels some to have seven to nine sexual partners a day.

The article described how such ‘practices’ are being ‘exported’ into Ethiopia through students who receive scholarships to study in the United States and Europe. It further suggested that the millions of dollars spent on scholarships are really designed to spread the ‘culture’ of homosexuality whose ‘agents’ (i.e. graduate students) ‘recruit’ street children of 8-16 years of age.

Other agents conspiring to ‘spread’ homosexuality are apparently the United Nations, Embassies of European and North American countries, International NGO’s with their gay staff and tourists.

The paper reported that the national anti-homosexual conference that was held little over a week ago in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, demanded urgent measures be taken by the government, including the death penalty, in order to prevent the rapid ‘spread’ of homosexuality and the apparent consequential sexual abuse of young boys.

The article additionally demanded that the Ethiopian government block all pornographic sites because these factor in the spread of the ‘social evil’ identified by the conference.

Ethiopian LGBT activists have reported increasing levels of homophobia since the anti-homosexuality conference, including receiving death threats. The conference included the main religious leaders of Ethiopia, government officials, members of the Ethiopian Parliament, leaders of political parties, youth organizations and representatives from other civil societies called upon the Ethiopian government to take measures and resist international bodies in their attempt to ‘subvert’ Ethiopian traditions by ‘infesting’ the country with homosexuality.

An Ethiopian LGBT activist based in Addis Ababa who spoke anonymously said: ‘I am an activist working to address the health and social problems of LGBT people in Ethiopia. I’ve got no idea from where and how the article got such “statistics”.

‘I strongly disagree with this campaign which is a part of the local religious leaders in collaboration with homophobic religious organizations’ that we know are actually based in Sweden, United Kingdom and others countries… They want to incite the government and the society at large to further stigmatize, persecute and attack the LGBT community in Ethiopia.’

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