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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The 10 most homophobic and transphobic quotes by politicians

Global Human Rights Defence presents the wall of shame: an exposé of 10 of the most homophobic and transphobic quotes by politicians from all over the world. These quotes are so shocking that it beggars belief they were uttered at all, least of all by politicians!

1.       “If you come here, you'll see homosexuals from Europe and America are luring our children into homosexuality by distributing cell phones and iPods and things like this, and I can explain to you what I really want to do. To kill every last gay person”[1]

Ugandan Member of Parliament David Mahati expressed his thoughts in an interview with journalist and gay rights activist Jeff Sharlet in 2010. Mahati proposed the country’s controversial anti-homosexuality law that criminalises homosexual acts and introduces prison terms for those who do not report a homosexual. On 20 December 2013, the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Act was passed despite severe resistance from the international community.

Link to trailer ‘’Call me Kuchu’’:

2.       ‘’I think that kind of disregard for the God-endowed natural rights of human being is the archetype of all crimes against humanity. And I think we have an entire elite faction that is now committed to committing such a crime against the American people’’[2]

American political activist and perennial presidential candidate Alan Keyes equated gay marriage with crimes against humanity. Salient detail:  Keyes’ daughter Maya Marcel-Keyes was fired as her father’s consultant and was left homeless after coming out as a lesbian to her family. At the moment, Maya is a social and political activist and involved in the gay rights movement in the United States.

3.       "Those miserable people want Iran to recognize f*****"[3]

In his sermon, the Iranian Ayatollah and member of the Assembly of Experts Movahedi Kermani focused, in unmistakable terms, attention on the Western tolerance of homosexuality after a resolution was adopted by the European Parliament to intensify contact between the EU and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Kermani was seconded by the Commander-in-Chief of the Basij morality militia Nagdi, who claimed that "the European Union is worse than grazing livestock. They demand that we recognize homosexuality, which is something even the beasts in the wilderness refuse to do to each other."

4.       "If two men have a right to marry, how can we deny the same right to two siblings? Are we to authorise incest?"[4]

The rate of repellent and groundless statements continues. This quote of UKIP MEP Roger Helmer is a fine example of the stance of this right-wing political party from the United Kingdom. UKIP’s leader Nigel Farage defended a parliamentary candidate who referred to homosexuals as ‘’disgusting old poofters” by stating that you people are ‘’very snobbish […] about condemning people, perhaps for the colloquial language we use’’. Gay marriage seems to be a sensitive issue as two UKIP MPs even had to resign after openly supporting gay marriage.

5.       "A man such as myself can walk into the bathroom at LA Fitness while women are taking showers, changing, and simply walk in there. If I feel like a woman that day, I can be allowed to be in that locker room.”[5]

Republican member of the Florida House of Representatives Frank Artiles in support of a bill that would make it illegal for an individual of one biological sex to enter a single-sex restroom or changing room designated for the opposite sex—even if the individual self-identifies as a person who belongs there.

6.       "Gay sex is not natural and we cannot support something which is unnatural"[6]

In the run up to the Indian elections of 2014, President of the Hindu nationalist BJP Rajnath Singh shed light on the party’s point of view on homosexuality. This was backed by BJP’s spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi who said ‘’we can’t bring Western culture into our society and culture’’. Though, the party came up with an unexpected place to spread their campaign message: the gay dating app Grindr. Prime-Ministerial candidate Modi’s picture was visible on Grindr with the encouraging message to vote BJP.

7.        “Don’t misunderstand me. I am not here bashing people who are homosexuals, who are lesbians, who are bisexual, who are transgender. We need to have profound compassion for people who are dealing with the very real issue of sexual dysfunction in their life and sexual identity disorders.” [7]

Michele Bachmann comments on homosexuality as a mental disorder, speaking at EdWatch National Education Conference in 2004. She is the founder of the US House of Representatives’ Tea Party Caucus, belongs to a denomination of the Lutheran Church and has been a foster parent to 23 children. In 2004, Michele Bachmann, then Minnesota State Senator Bachmann, attempted to get an anti-gay marriage amendment on the Minnesota ballot at a voter referendum to write discrimination directly into her state’s constitution.

8.       "Such people are the curse of society and social garbage. They don't deserve to be Muslim or Pakistani, and the support and protection announced by the US administration for them is the worst social and cultural terrorism against Pakistan"[8]

This was stated by the Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami in response to an event on gay rights that was hosted by the US embassy in Pakistan. Just like Bangladesh, Pakistan outlaws gay sex. Despite this institutional ban and clerics denouncing homosexuality as sinful behaviour, underground parties for homosexuals and marriages of convenience between same-sex partners are among the many surprises the Islamic Republic of Pakistan offers.

9.       ‘’Homosexuality is anti-god, anti-human, and anti-civilization. Homosexuals are not welcome in the Gambia. If we catch you, you will regret why you are born. I have buffalos from South Africa and Brazil and they never date each other. We are ready to eat grass but we will not compromise on this. Allowing homosexuality means allowing satanic rights. We will not allow gays here.’’[9]

This is one of the many anti-gay statements of Gambian president Yahya Jammeh. While calling for continued peace in Gambia, the same country considers homosexuality a criminal offence and the President has expressed his support for this law "If you are convicted of homosexuality in this country, there will be no mercy for offenders."

10.   ‘’If you take men and lock them in a house for five years and tell them to come up with two children and they fail to do that, then we will chop off their heads.”[10]

President Mugabe of Zimbabwe – a country where homosexuality is declared illegal by law - has his own way of emphasising that homosexuality will destroy our lineage. Adding that ‘’Imagine this son born out of an African father, (US President Barrack) Obama says if you want aid, you should accept the homosexuality practice. Aah, we will never do that.”

These 10 appalling and shameful statements from politicians around the world show there is still significant opposition to providing equal rights to LGBT people. Globally, the LGBT community faces a huge risk of marginalisation and violence. At this moment homosexual activity is illegal and thereby punishable in 78 countries[11], which comes down to 78 countries too many, according to Global Human Rights Defence. We believe human rights are universal and inalienable in nature and apply to every single person.

Even though this article can be considered a political wall of shame, Global Human Rights Defence remains committed to provide equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Do you want to support our cause? Think of a positive quote to counterbalance the previous ones and share, post or tweet it with #WallofLGBTpride.


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