Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has taken a jab at US President Barack Obama following the Supreme Court’s decision to legalise gay marriage across the United States of America last week, sarcastically promising to travel to Washington and ask for his hand in marriage.
Mugabe made the following comments during his weekly radio interview with the country’s national radio station ZBC:
“I’ve just concluded since President Obama endorses the same-sex marriage, advocates homosexual people and enjoys an attractive countenance thus if it becomes necessary , I shall travel to Washington DC, get down on my knee, and ask his hand,” he said.
At a 2013 campaign rally, Mugabe had condemned Obama for forcing homosexuality on the continent. “We have this American president, Obama, born of an African father, who is saying we will not give you aid if you don’t embrace homosexuality. We ask, was he born out of homosexuality?”
Elsewhere on the African continent, Zimbabwe’s neighbour, Mozambique, scrapped a colonial law dating back to 1886 which criminalised homosexuality, bringing in a new penal law which also decriminalised abortion.
The original law had targeted anyone “who habitually engages in vices against nature” and was punishable by up to three years of hard labour. Gay rights activists called the decision as a “symbolic victory” for gay rights in Africa.
The US decision to legalise gay marriage came just before LGBT Pride marches took place around the world, with American landmarks such as the White House being lit in rainbow colours to mark the historic ruling. However, in Turkey, those celebrating a gay pride march were stopped in their tracks by Turkish police who used water cannon, tear gas and rubber pellets to disperse crowds.
Homosexuality is illegal in Zimbabwe, and across the African continent is punishable by death in Sudan, Nigeria and Mauritania.