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Zambia Angered
by Norwegian Support of Gays

Vatican Suicide Remembered

By Rex Wockner
International News Report

Zambia Angered
by Norwegian Support of Gays

norzamb.gif - 18.96 K A $1,000 grant by the Norwegian government to an embattled Zambian gay group has angered Zambian religious leaders and government officials, the All Africa News Agency reported January 11.

Norwegian Ambassador to Zambia Jon Lomoy gave the money to the Zambia Independent Monitoring Team -- the umbrella group for the nation's human-rights organizations -- which funneled it to the Lesbian, Gay and Transgender Association (LEGATRA) to fund workshops and a radio program.

"Homosexuality upsets the order of God in which male and female were created," said United Church of Zambia spokesman Rev. Jon Simukonde. "If Norway has money to spend, let that money go towards alleviating poverty among the many Zambians rather than on unnatural schemes."

Church of God Bishop John Mambo agreed and urged all Zambian Christians to condemn Norway's gay-friendly attitudes.

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister Kelly Walubita has summoned Ambassador Lomoy to his office to explain "certain things" about homosexuality, AANA said.

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Late last year, Home Affairs Minister Peter Machungwa threatened LEGATRA's leaders with imprisonment if they appeared at the office of Registrar of Societies Herbert Nyendwa, who insisted he would never cast his eyes upon the group's application forms.

At the same time, Zambian Vice President Christon Tembo proclaimed: "An association formed to further the interests of homosexuals can never be registered in Zambia. Those who will persist in championing the cause for homosexual activities in Zambia risk being arrested for the felonies of committing criminal acts or for conspiracy to commit criminal acts."
Vatican Suicide Remembered

swissguard.jpg - 15.60 K Fifteen members of Italy's leading gay group, Arci Gay, laid a wreath near the Vatican's St. Peter's Square January 13 in memory of the man who set himself on fire there one year ago in protest against the Catholic Church's teachings on gays.

Police refused to let the activists into the square itself.

"The rejection by the ecclesiastical community is a burning wound for homosexuals," said Arci Gay President Sergio Lo Giudice. "Sooner or later the Vatican will have to ask homosexuals for forgiveness just like it did to the Jews. ... We are here because Alfredo chose to kill himself here. The Vatican has a moral responsibility for the malaise in which many homosexuals live these days."

On January 13, 1998, Alfredo Ormando, 40, torched himself and rushed fully ablaze toward the entrance to St. Peter's Basilica. He collapsed before he reached the door and later died. Notes found in his coat said he was protesting society's failure to understand homosexuals.

The Catholic Church does not condemn gays directly but insists that any sex act that is not open to the possibility of pregnancy is a "mortal sin" that leads to Hell.

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