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150 South African Gay Youth Go to Camp

Bigotry Protested at Zimbabwe's Consulate

By Rex Wockner
International News Report

150 South African Gay Youth Go to Camp

gaysa4.jpg - 33.56 KAbout 150 gay and lesbian teens are expected at South Africa's first-ever gay-youth camp this month.

The 10-day outing, run by the National Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality, will include hiking, partying and poetry reading. Participants will discuss religion and sexuality, discrimination by teachers, the history of homosexuality, and how to come out to parents.

'Youth are not self-sufficient, they are dependent on their parents and guardians," organizer Paddy Nhlapo told the Sunday Times. "If they are discovered to be gay at school they are often sent to psychologists as if they had a disease. You find many of them on the streets, or they commit suicide. These kids are citizens of South Africa, but they still don't enjoy freedom of sexual orientation."

NCGLE is also pushing for the introduction of gay subject matter in school curriculums and for a reduction in the age of consent for gay sex from 19 to 16, which is the legal age for heterosexual sex.

Bigotry Protested at Zimbabwe's Consulate

Members of South Africa's National Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality picketed the Zimbabwean Consulate in Cape Town August 27.

According to the protesters: "Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ), a lesbian and gay human rights organisation based in Harare, has repeatedly been the victim of a government determined to deny lesbians and gay men full equality under the law.

The latest in a series of events has been the arrest of Keith Goddard on fabricated charges of sodomy. As a founding member of GALZ, Keith has been an outspoken critic of the Zimbabwean government's opposition to lesbian and gay equality."

NCGLE demanded the Zimbabwean government drop all charges against Goddard, legalize gay sex, guarantee freedom of speech and expression, and ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe loathes homosexuals. He has said: "[They are] repugnant to my human conscience ... immoral and repulsive. ... Animals in the jungle are better than these people because at least they know that this is a man or a woman. ... I don't believe they have any rights at all. [Gay sex is] an abomination."

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