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GALZ WELCOMES THE PRIME MINISTER’S STATEMENTS ON GAY RIGHTS

in ZIMBABWE, 26/10/2011

A statement by the Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe.

Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) welcomes the recent comments by Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to the BBC, wherein "he told the BBC that gay rights were a ‘human right’ that conservative Zimbabweans should respect."

We note however that these statements contradict his views expressed in March 2010, when Mr Tsvangirai agreed with President Mugabe, saying, "Gay rights were not up for discussion in Zimbabwe."

Gay rights are a controversial issue in Zimbabwe, where many people view homosexuality as "uncultural." GALZ does not expect every individual Zimbabwean to embrace gay rights or the issue of homosexuality. But we do expect Zimbabweans - and our political leaders in particular - to understand and promote the fundamental, inalienable and indivisible nature of human rights,
including non-discrimination on the basis of race, gender, tribe, culture, sexual orientation or political affiliation.

Zimbabwe's new, democratic constitution must enshrine these human rights, which are inherent to every human being, and are not determined by majority opinion.

We encourage the Prime Minister to take positive action to support his most recent statement on the indivisibility of human rights.

Further, we urge him to have the courage to stand by his laudable respect for human rights in the face of the propaganda and unpopularity that will be generated by the Zimbabwean media around his position.

True leadership remains steadfast in the pursuit of justice and equality.

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