Government officials, religious leaders, leading health professionals, charities and members of the public attended an event at the Bethel Teaching Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia last week to discuss the "evils" and "disastrous effects" of homosexuality in their country.
During the workshop, led by evangelical organization United for Life Ethiopia, participants agreed that homosexuality nothing to do with nature and the "born this way" motto has no place in Ethiopia. Police at the workshop alleged homosexual family members and neighbors have sexually abused 117 boys last year, according to Gay Star News.
At the conclusion of the workshop, a representative from the Ethiopian Inter-Religious Council Against Homosexuality (EICAH) stated that the council is "making progress" in convincing the government to be stricter on homosexuality and introduce the death penalty to punish it.
The director of Rainbow Ethiopia, identified as "Mercy," told GSN that the trend of homophobia and hate crimes are increasing in the country because organizations like EICAH create a "moral panic" and "feed the public false information and wild allegations."
"They scare the public [into thinking] that homosexuals are raping children and then ’recruit’ them into homosexuality," Mercy said. "These groups even present some of the LGBTI members of the community as mercenaries, trained and sponsored by the West to ’promote homosexuality’."
Ethiopia isn’t alone in its persecution of gays. Uganda has unsuccessfully tried to pass a "Kill the Gays" bill.
Mercy is calling upon human rights organizations and the international community to do everything in their power to cut the Western funding to these organizations while supporting organizations that protect and promote the rights of LGBT people.
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