11 November 2012

Swaziland: Support Grows for Gay Hate MP

opinion

Photo: Elles van Gelder/RNW
Mr Gay World 2012 comes out in Africa.

Swaziland gay hate MP Aaron Sotja Dladla is gaining support for his campaign to have homosexuality banned in the kingdom.

Last week he told the Swazi House of Assembly a law should be put in place to 'deal with' what he called 'this mushrooming anti-social' behaviour of gays and lesbians.

Now, the Weekend Observer, a newspaper in effect owned by King Mswati III, reports that residents in his constituency, 'have encouraged him to move a motion in parliament calling for the banning of homosexual tendencies'.

Dladla, a member of the fringe church group Jericho Red Gown, restated his stance against homosexuality to the newspaper. He has made a number of public statements expressing hatred of homosexuals.

Although the mainstream media in Swaziland is reporting Dladla's growing campaign uncritically, he is being attacked for his extremism on social networks. The Swaziland Solidarity Network has called for a new law to ban hatespeech.

Dladla is not alone among Swazi parliamentarians to oppose homosexuality. In June 2012, Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini toldjournalists that same-sex marriages would not be allowed in the kingdom.

He was responding to a question about the increasing acceptability of such marriages across the world, including neighbouring South Africa.

He said, 'It will take time before we allow this to happen and include it in the country's laws. We are not even ready to consider it.'

Ironically, King Mswati, sub-Saharan Africa's last absolute monarch, insists that Swaziland is close to becoming a 'first-world country'. Clearly, he and his supporters are on the wrong side of history. Only this week the United States re-elected Barack Obama, an outspoken supporter of gay marriages, President of the United States. Obama defeated Mitt Romney, himself a member of a religious sect that, like the traditional Swazis, believes in polygamous marriages for heterosexuals, but no marriage at all for gays and lesbians.

The Americans also voted in favour of same-sex marriages in local votes on the subject.

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InFocus

Support Grows for Anti-Gay Swazi MP

Mr Gay World 2012 comes out in Africa.

A lawmaker is gaining support for his campaign to have homosexuality banned in the kingdom in order to deal with what he termed "mushrooming anti-social" behaviour of gays and ... Read more »