ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Addis Ababa’s municipality on Tuesday approved a mass anti-gay protest to be held in Ethiopia’s capital and throughout the country later this month, according to the Ethiopian Reporter.
The Addis Ababa Youth Forum (AAYF), a group linked to the ruling party in Ethiopia, in collaboration with Weyneye Abune Teklehaimanot (WAT), an Ethiopian Orthodox Church association, will hold a protest “Against Foreign Culture and Homosexuality” on the 26 April beginning from 8 to 11 am.
The organizers stated that the aim of the protest is to alert the government and society to the “severity” of the “homosexual agenda” in the country, so that existing anti-gay laws can be tightened.
Government officials would join the protests and carry similar demonstrations throughout the country, the report stated.
Addis Ababa municipality officers are also planning to provide anti-LGBT seminars to youth across the capital to provide “awareness” on “the dangers posed to children by homosexuality.”
The linkage of LGBT issues to pedophilia has recently been stepped up in Ethiopia’s press, which frequently publishes interviews with Evangelical anti-gay preacher, Dr. Antonious Seyoum.
Daniel Berhane of the Horn Affairs blog says the recent anti-LGBT measures and “gay-bashing rhetoric” are in preparation to “the run up to the election next year.”
In Ethiopia, same-sex acts are illegal and punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
In addition, under its anti-terrorism law anyone who states what the government deems terrorism (which can include human rights criticism) can be imprisoned for 20 years, without a warrant.