Zimbabwe: New draft constitution includes equal marriage ban

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A new Zimbabwean draft constitution includes a clause banning equal marriage for gay couples, reports suggest.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his chief rival, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, entered into a power-sharing government in 2008.

The pair have now agreed on a draft constitution which would ban equal marriage rights for same-sex couples.

The AFP, which reports that it has seen a copy of the draft constitution, claims that it states that “persons of the same sex are prohibited from marrying each other.”

During negotiations over the constitution, Mugabe reportedly attempted to allege that his opposition had tried to legalise equal marriage, to use the issue against them.

In August 2012, Mugabe’s government reportedly begun harassing LGBT activists, when a police raid took place on the headquarters of the Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) association in Harare, in which police arrested 44 gay rights activists.

The GALZ offices were closed down by police a couple of days later. 

The draft constitution also includes clauses to limit presidential terms and to strip the executive of prosecutorial immunity, reports AfterMarriage. 

In 2012, Robert Mugabe, who said gay people ‘offend against the law of nature’ appeared to have been made a ‘leader for tourism’ by the UN’s World Tourism Organisation, a title which was later denied by the organisation.