Robert Mugabe to the UN: We are not gays

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Robert Mugabe has used a speech at the UN General Assembly to rant against “new rights” for gay people.

In the speech to the UN in New York on Monday, the Zimbabwean President delivered a thinly-veiled diatribe against the US and gay rights.

He said: “Nowhere does the [UN] Charter arrogate the right to some to sit in judgement over others, in carrying out this universal obligation [to human rights].

“In that regard, we reject the politicisation of this important issue and the application of double standards to victimise those who dare think and act independently of the self-anointed prefects of our time.

“We equally reject attempts to prescribe new rights that are contrary to our values, our norms, traditions and beliefs.”

The 91-year-old then deviated from his prepared speech, declaring: “We are not gays” – drawing laughter and applause from some of those listening.

He went off-book elsewhere in the speech as well, openly questioning US President Barack Obama while discussing the Middle East,

This remark could be seen as an attempt to suggest, as he has in the past, that the people of his nation are not homosexuals, given he believes that being gay is “un-African” and an imported “white disease”.

His comments are perhaps not surprising given his previous comments, and the country’s existing anti-gay laws.

Mugabe has previously has said homosexuality is a filthy disease, claimed he ‘pities’ the Queen because of Britain’s “gay habits”, and said Zimbabwe would “never, never, never” support homosexuality.

Mugabe’s comments come a day after the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia warned the UN  to keep gay rights out of global development goals, adding that they have a right not to follow any agenda that is “counter to Islamic law.”
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