Gambia President: Gays are ’Vermin’
The president of the West African country Gambia made headlines yesterday for calling gays "vermin" Tuesday, adding that his government would handle them the same way it fights mosquitos that cause malaria, Reuters reports.
"We will fight these vermins called homosexuals or gays the same way we are fighting malaria-causing mosquitoes, if not more aggressively," Gambian President Yahya Jammeh said in a speech on state television Tuesday.
Although a number of Western countries have threatened to cut aid to African countries with anti-gay laws like Gambia, Jammeh said he would not bow down to pressure on LGBT issues.
"We will therefore not accept any friendship, aid or any other gesture that is conditional on accepting homosexuals or LGBT as they are now baptised by the powers that promote them," he said. "As far as I am concerned, LGBT can only stand for Leprosy, Gonorrhoea, Bacteria and Tuberculosis; all of which are detrimental to human existence."
This isn't the first time Jammeh has come under fire for anti-gay rhetoric. Last September he addressed the United Nations General Assembly, saying that homosexuality is one of the "biggest threats to human existence," along with greed and obsession with world domination. He said these three "sins" "are more deadly than all natural disasters put together."
In 2008 Jammeh he told Gambia's gays and lesbians to flee the country or he would cut their heads off.
Jammeh also claimed in 2012 that several patients suffering from HIV and AIDS had been cured by using his secret blend of herbs. In 2007, Jammeh said he first discovered a natural way to cure AIDS, which drew ire from health officials in Western countries, who said he was giving false hope to those infected with the deadly disease.