Gays and lesbians in Zimbabwe are facing sexual harassment and violence in an attempt to change their sexual orientations.
Hate speech by politicians against the nation’s small gay community fueled social pressures on families, and crimes against human rights and sexual abuse against gays were rarely reported to police, said Amanda Porter, political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Harare and compiler of the report.
“Some families reportedly subjected men and women to corrective rape and forced marriages to encourage heterosexual conduct,” she said Tuesday.
President Robert Mugabe refused to include gay rights in Zimbabwe’s new constitution being written for next year. Same-sex acts are illegal there.
According to the Associated Press, Mugabe once described homosexuals as “lower than pigs and dogs.”
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said he personally shared an abhorrence of homosexuality, but called for tolerance toward minority groups.
“There can be no place in the new Zimbabwe for hate speech or the persecution of any sector of the population basedon race, gender, tribe, culture, sexual orientation or political affiliation,” he said in debate on constitutional reform earlier this month.
To read more on this story, visit the Associated Press.