21 June 2012

Tanzania: 'No' to Same Sex Marriages - Govt

Dodoma — TANZANIA is not ready to allow same-sex marriage because the matter goes against the country's laws, tenets of religion and traditional customs, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr Bernard Membe, said on Wednesday.

Answering Mr Khatib Said Haji (Konde - CUF) in the National Assembly, the minister said the government would not yield to external and local pressure to legalize same-sex marriages. "We are ready to lose aid and support from friendly countries that are now pushing for repeal of anti-gay laws in African nations," he said.

Mr Membe added that the Law of Marriage Act of 1971 recognizes the permanent union between a man and a woman and that is the position of all religions and tribal customs. Mr Haji had wanted to know the position of the government on the pressure by Western countries demanding abolition of anti-gay laws.

He said some Western countries have openly threatened to cut aid to countries that are reluctant to review anti-gay laws.

Mr Membe said that none of the Tanzania's development partners have threatened to cut aid for the country's position on the matter so far. He, however, insisted that the country was ready to go it alone rather than being subjected to humiliation and dehumanization.

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