Gambia President Yahya Jammeh has said that while he is president he won’t take money from foreign donors hoping to push a so-called gay agenda on the country.
In a speech made Saturday at the opening of the country’s Parliament in Banjul, Jammeh criticized calls from President Barack Obama and British PM David Cameron that countries receiving foreign aid should be subject to LGBT rights-inclusive human rights standards.
“If you are to give us aid for men and men or for women and women to marry, leave it. We don’t need your aid because as far as I am the president of the Gambia, you will never see that happen in this country,”
“We do not need your aid money. You can keep it. We will not encourage ungodly vices alien to our culture. As long as I’m the president of this country, there will be no gay rights. Homosexuality is forbidden in this country.”
Jammeh closed out his comments by adding, “Let me make it very clear that … you will not bribe me to do what is evil and ungodly.”
This kind of rhetoric is not uncommon among anti-gay nations. Uganda has, for instance, previously said it will not be “bullied” into accepting gay rights through cuts to aid, however no nation that has vociferously protested these demands has yet refused aid donations.
President Jammeh in 2008 called for the beheading of gay people. He later retracted this threat but has since repeated similarly overtly hostile messaging about gay citizens and recently seems to have once again ratcheted up his anti-gay language.
Gambia currently criminalizes gay people under Article 144 of the Criminal Code. Those convicted can be punished with up to 14 years in prison, though the full penalty is rarely meted out.
Recently a number of people were arrested in Gambia under “suspicion” of homosexuality. You can read more on that here.
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