Zambia’s Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister has proclaimed that his country will not recognise gay rights as to do so would be contrary to its constitutional Christian values.
The Times of Zambia reports that Minister Gabriel Namulambe told visiting American Deputy Assistant Secretary for Southern African Affairs Shannon Smith that “gaysm” is in conflict with Zambian culture and the country’s Christian identity.
“I want to make it very clear here that as Government, we have the Constitution to protect and in the preamble of our Constitution, Zambia is a Christian Nation and as such we live by the Christian values and we will not be able to recognise gay rights,” Namulambe told journalists after the meeting.
“This is because it is untraditional to our culture, and we have appealed to our colleagues to respect our stance that as Zambians, we shall remain a Christian nation,” he insisted.
Consensual adult same-sex acts are criminalised in Zambia. Offences such as sodomy, or sex between women, carry a minimum sentence of 15 years and a maximum of life in prison.
The Zambian minister’s statement comes as South Africa’s Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng – a Christian lay preacher – recently called for religion to play a greater role in the law making process.
While he insisted that he would uphold gay rights even though “the Bible speaks against homosexuality,” Mogoeng pointed out that God was mentioned in the preamble to the Constitution and in the national anthem.