ADDIS ABABA: A top Ethiopian newspaper lashed out at the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community this past week, referring to gay people as “satanic” and as a spreading “disease” in a report that has left the community angered and frustrated yet again.
Yegna Press published an article warning Ethiopians of the “problem” of homosexuality, a “disease imported” from the west, which is spreading in Ethiopia.
“The article uses deliberately provocative and sensationalist language equating pedophilia, rape and male sex work with homosexuality, blaming gays for rape and molestation of teens and spreading of HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia,” wrote Gay Star News in their report on the article.
The paper also announced that a documentary film about how “cured” gays confess to their acts and later ‘healed’ by prayer, will be released in a high profile conference attended by government officials, religious and civil society leaders, in the Addis Ababa, the country’s capital.
The article says: “Although male prostitutes have been working underground for years, seeking wealthy gay men wanting a quick liaison they have now become more open, moving into nightclubs, bars and streets of Addis Ababa seeking clients rather than hiding in the dark.
“Addis Ababa is strangely stormed by young and teenage homosexual male prostitutes,” said the article published last week.
It also went on to declare that a documentary film that allegedly aims to “expose the satanic 666 actions of homosexuals in Ethiopia” is scheduled to be screened and officially released on Monday, in a planned gathering of religious leaders, civil society and government official in Addis Ababa.
It comes as Ethiopia’s nascent LGBT community continues to fear for their safety and future in the country.
Lucy and Tina are lesbians. They are a couple who have been together for five years. But in May, while dancing at a local club in Addis Ababa, they told Bikyanews.com they were attacked by other women, beaten and forced out of the nightclub. The reason: they are lesbian.
“The women just kept yelling at us and screaming and pushing when we started to hold hands,” Lucy told Bikyanews.com, her eye still dark from the marks of the assault. “They shoved and punched at us until we were forced to leave.”
Tina also has bruises on her arms. The couple said they were enjoying a night out of dancing at a club they often go to for relaxation. They said they’d never had any problems.
“It is shocking because we don’t show a lot of physical intimacy, but we do try to enjoy our time,” chimed in Tina. “And then all hell broke loose. It is becoming more and more common in Ethiopia to be attacked because people are gay or lesbian. The campaign against the community is growing.”
They both alluded to the recent calls from an Evangelical organization that is pushing for the death penalty against Ethiopia’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
An anti-gay organization that held a recent workshop on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues in Ethiopia is reporting that the death penalty against gay people in Ethiopia may be on the horizon.
The workshop reportedly looked with the social ‘evils’ and ‘disastrous’ effects of homosexuality in Ethiopia, and was led by United for Life Ethiopia, a Western Evangelical Christian organization with local representation.
Government officials, religious leaders, leading heath professionals, charities and members of the public attended the event at the Bethel Teaching Hospital in Addis Ababa, last week.
In the workshop police alleged ‘homosexual family members and neighbors’ have sexually abused 117 boys last year.