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White House condemns Zimbabwe on gay rights, Cameroon celebrates “Gay Hate Day”

in UNITED STATES, 30/08/2012

While the U.S. debates same-sex marriage, Cameroon hosted a “Gay Hate Day” and on Thursday the White House condemned Zimbabwe’s “violent arrest and detention of 44 members of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe on August 11 and a second raid by police on August 20.”

The White House said several of the arrested Zimbabweans “sustained serious medical injuries from the attacks and were detained without charges…The United States stands in solidarity with Zimbabwe’s civil society, including LGBT activists. We are deeply concerned when security forces become an instrument of political violence used against citizens exercising their democratic rights.”

This week the Catholic Archbishop in Cameroon said that while one should be tolerant, homosexuality belongs with pedophilia and bestiality and called it an “affront to the family, enemy of women and creation.”

An organization in Cameroon also celebrated “Gay Hate Day” this week. The Kenyan Daily Post reported, “the chosen date marks the savage murder and alleged rape of Narcisse Olivier Djomo Pokam by, a 31 year old student, by what the association labelled ‘gay mafia’.”

Allout.org organized a response from African human rights activists. “A poster announcing the ‘Gay Hate Day’ claims that hemorrhoids, incontinence and various infections are consequences of homosexuality,” Yves Yomb, director of Alternatives-Cameroun, an organization working for the rights of sexual minorities in Cameroon, said in a statement released by the group.

Homosexuality is a crime in 38 out of 54 African states. Africa contains a billion people, or about 15 percent of the world’s population.

On Thursday California Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer asked the Justice Department to add Sikhs to its enforcement of hate crime laws, following the killings in Wisconsin.

Their letter, with several other Senators, noted that within the last two years “two Sikhs in California were murdered, a Sikh temple in Michigan was desecrated, a Sikh transit worker in New York City was assaulted, and a Sikh taxi driver in California was severely beaten. According to a recent survey of 1,370 Sikhs living in the California Bay Area, 10 percent reported being the victim of a hate crime. Sixty-eight percent of those crimes were in the form of physical attacks. Because many Sikhs wear turbans and do not cut their facial hair, they are often viewed as foreign and are easy to target for harassment and crime.”

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