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.