Thursday, April 08, 2010

African gays and lesbians becoming victims of 'corrective rape'

It's interesting that this story came to my attention yesterday:

An annual report by the US State Department on human rights in Zimbabwe has said that gays and lesbians in the country face harassment and rape by people trying to 'cure' them.

It said that lesbians were sometimes raped, even by their family members, to try and turn them straight, while gay men were forced into heterosexual sex.

Associated Press reports that Amanda Porter, political officer at the US Embassy in Harare, said yesterday: "Some families reportedly subjected men and women to corrective rape and forced marriages to encourage heterosexual conduct."

Sodomy is illegal in Zimbabwe and punishable with up to a year in prison or a heavy fine.

Although there have been no recorded prosecutions in recent years, gays and lesbians say they face harassment and stigma in the community.

The country's only gay group, Gays and Lesbians Association of Zimbabwe (GALZ), has warned that gays live in fear and are driven underground.

It's interesting for two reasons.

My piece appeared in the Huffington Post last night and already it is besieged by pseudo intellectual individuals who claim that being black and being gay are different.

Secondly, this piece provides a bit of grounding. Whenever organizations like the Family Research Council pull up specious anecdotes about how some "Christian" was supposedly unfairly fired of THE GAYS, it helps to be reminded what real persecution looks like.

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EL Miller said...

I agree with you, this term corrective rape is horribly offensive.

Andy Armitage said...

It's seriously, seriously worrying what's happening to gays in some African countries. The Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill and its potential ramifications can't have escaped your notice. Is there a solution to this? One wonders what the situation would be if white Christian missionaries hadn't gone in there in the first place.

Anonymous said...

This would be happening in America if EXODUS and Focus on the Family had their way.

Jane Quan said...

Hey! I've been following your cross-posts on Pam's for a while now, and I always appreciate your insight. As a minority transwoman, I totally get your dissatisfaction with the way civil rights groups ignore each other. If women, minorities and the LGBT united in what is so obviously a common cause, we'd be an activist force of juggernaut proportions.

In regards to your article, I'm terribly sorry that you have to put up with people like IGNSTHMD. I can't take someone's apparent intelligence seriously when they use (and misuse!) "arrogate" while consistently confusing such simple things as "their" and "they're". He/she seems to love the sound of his voice, but doesn't know what he/she is saying.