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PM Tsvangirai Was Reckless In Gay Remarks, Says Group

in ZIMBABWE, 14/03/2013

The remarks by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on same sex marriage are 'reckless' and 'unfortunate' a group said Friday.

The Gay and Lesbian of Zimbabwe (GALZ) has come out to strongly oppose the remarks made by Mr Tsvangirai where he said that marriage is only between a man and a woman.

Tsvangirai was speaking in a meeting in Harare this week when he denounced homosexuality and said marriages should be between a man and a woman, according to various media reports.

(READ: Zimbabwe PM Denounces Homosexuality)

'GALZ is of the view that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s statements fuel public prejudice against LGBTI individuals and contradict the very preamble of a draft constitution that he is seemingly promoting,' said the statement.

GALZ said that the PM has gone against the spirit of the Constitution that protects all Zimbabweans.

'His utterances justify that he has failed to practice and support a very important affirmation of the draft constitution. He also fails to uphold his commitment to human rights and the acceptance of diversity.'

The country is to hold a referendum Saturday on its draft Constitution that is hoped to bring new change in the South African country that has been led by Robert Mugabe since the 1980's.

PM Tsvangirai, in remarks attributed to him, said 'In the draft Constitution, we said marriage is between a man and a woman and those who want to marry another from the same sex, then they have a problem. Why do you want to sleep with another man?'

The draft Constitution explicitly bans same sex marriage.

'The PM has been jolted into castigating violence in Headlands recently however we find him equally guilty of inciting violence and advocating hatred and hate speech on the LGBTI community in Zimbabwe,' said GALZ.

'It is our view that Political leaders in Zimbabwe continue to pander to public prejudices against LGBTI individuals through public statements that justify the exclusion and abuse of anyone suspected of being LGBTI. GALZ shares the common desire of Zimbabweans for freedom, justice and equality, as promoted in the Preamble of the first draft of the Constitution.'

'GALZ believes that, in recognizing the diversity and rights of all people in Zimbabwe, we should also recognize that some Zimbabweans are attracted to people of the same sex. We believe that the Constitution is not the appropriate forum to give effect to the private beliefs held by some that same-sex couples should not be married.'

It added: 'Zimbabwe has come too far in its constitutional reform process to debase this process by showing an outright desire to harm a politically unpopular group without any legitimate government interest.'

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