Gambia: No Room for Gays, Lesbians - President Jammeh

In the midst of the chorus of widespread condemnations of the imposition of values and norms alien to Africa under the pretext of human rights, the Gambian leader has made his position clear, denouncing in the strongest term possible terms what he called "ungodly gay marriages", saying his country has no "room for gays and lesbians".

His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh made the condemnation Friday at the Legislative Chambers, while presiding over the 2012 State Opening of the National Assembly.

He said: "If you want us to be ungodly for you to give us aid, take your aid away, we will survive. We will rather eat grass than accept this ungodly evil attitude that is anti-God, anti-human and anti-creation. What is interesting is that Muslim veils have been banned [in some Western countries], and they want us to accept gays and lesbians in Africa, hell no! It will not happen in this country.

We will not allow anything that is ungodly to take place on this soil. If you are caught and sent to jail, we will make sure that you are separated and put you in one jail where you will not see a man. We will not lock homosexuals in one jail."

President Jammeh stressed that in The Gambia someone will be treated not based on colour or religion, but according to the way the person behaves. He stressed that one thing that they will never compromise for whatever reason is the "integrity of our culture, our dignity and our sovereignty". Stating that his country doesn't intend to colonise anybody even in revenge, the president warned that The Gambia also will not be colonised or enslaved twice.

Emphasising that every society has its own natural dos and don'ts, the Gambian leader averred that as a member of the international community, his government will abide by the international conventions that they have signed. "But as a country," he added, "we will pass legislations that will preserve our cultures and humanity, our dignity, and our identity as one Africans, West Africans and Gambians." He posited that as part of the global community, they will take what is common to all human beings irrespective of where you come from, stressing that what is "ungodly" would not be accepted.

"We will preserve our Africaness and our religious belief to the letter and laws will be made to make sure that our cultural values are upheld to the letter. Sometimes you hear a lot of noise about my pronouncements. Let me make it very clear that if you want me to offend God for you to give me aid, you are making a great mistake. You will not bribe me to do what is evil and ungodly," he stated.

To this end, President Jammeh revealed that his government will be giving legislations that a lot of people will be interested in- non-Gambians, thus reiterating that ungodly things will not be tolerated. "We lost our traditional head scarf for a necktie, but we will not lose our humanity for the so-called human rights," he said.

He continued: "There are certain things going on that are ungodly, evil, and a challenge to the Almighty Allah's wisdom in creating a man and a woman. In Africa, in The Gambia, in West Africa in general, if you [a man] don't want troubles, marry a woman and not a man. But if you want trouble and you are a man, have a man and see what is going to happen.

We are not going to accept that. After all, I have donkeys, I have zebras that look like donkeys; I put them together they have never met because they are different. I see no reasons why we human beings who are created by God cannot see the difference, it will not happen in this country. We will respect human rights where a human being behaves like a human being.

I have more than 5000 heads of cattle including bulls, the bulls fight when one bull climbs onto the other. You want to tell me that cattle and bull are more intelligent than the human beings?In your country a man can marry a man and marry a woman if you are a woman, but in The Gambia, we will not accept it."

The Gambian leader concluded by asserting "you can call me any names, but we will not compromise our dignity, we will not insult our religion, and we will not insult God by doing something in the name of human rights".

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