Gambian Leader: ‘No Mercy’ for Gay People

Uganda is not the only country in Africa being led by violently anti-gay bigots. Gambian President Yahya Jammeh regularly threatens the lives of gay people and says that if they are caught in his country, they will be shown no mercy because they are pushing “satanic rights.”

Yahya Jammeh, who has been president of Gambia since a bloodless coup in 1994, is not shy about expressing his anti-gay opinions. The president’s latest rant came during a speech on March 28 at the opening of the country’s parliament, according to Gambia’s Freedom Newspaper Online. In an interesting juxtaposition of themes, Jammeh called for continued peace in his country, promised to root out criminal activity and warned homosexuals to stay out of the region or suffer severe consequences.

“Homosexuality is anti-humanity. I have never seen homosexual chicken, or turkey,” Jammeh said, according to the Freedom Newspaper. “If you are convicted of homosexuality in this country, there will be no mercy for offenders.”

He continued thus:

Homosexuality is anti-god, anti-human, and anti-civilization. Homosexuals are not welcome in the Gambia. If we catch you, you will regret why you are born. I have buffalos from South Africa and Brazil and they never date each other. We are ready to eat grass but we will not compromise on this. Allowing homosexuality means allowing satanic rights. We will not allow gays here.

Which makes you nothing but a bigoted, totalitarian thug.

24 comments on this post.
  1. timgueguen:

    Hmmm, aren’t roosters known for having sexual contact with other roosters if hens aren’t available?

  2. Marcus Ranum:

    I have buffalos from South Africa and Brazil and they never date each other.

    Argumentum ad buffalo. You are dismissed.

  3. TCC:

    I have buffalos (sic) from South Africa and Brazil and they never date each other.

    Okay, two things:
    1. Do buffalo date? I mean, I know they buffalo Buffalo buffalo, but dating seems a bit much.
    2. Is he insinuating that his buffalo are racist?

  4. machintelligence:

    I have never seen homosexual chicken, or turkey,

    Apparently he has never looked, or his eyesight is none too good.

  5. blf:

    Argumentum ad buffalo.

    Perhaps argumentum ad buffoon

  6. Marcus Ranum:

    Gotta love google image search. One of my pastimes when I encounter a surrealist idea is to punch it into image search to see what comes up.

  7. Marcus Ranum:

    Addendum: they’re not dating, really. They’re just having a quickie. They’re not going steady or anything.

  8. Captain Mike:

    “Homosexuality is anti-humanity. I have never seen homosexual chicken, or turkey,”

    Chickens and turkeys: showing humans how to live their lives since never.

  9. Raging Bee:

    I have never seen homosexual chicken, or turkey…

    Has he ever seen a Christian chicken or turkey?

  10. Andrew B.:

    “I have never seen homosexual chicken, or turkey”

    I have never seen a Gambian. How do I know Gambia exists?

  11. Marcus Ranum:

    Raging Bee, you may add another “keyboard destroyed” accomplishment to your trophy list.

  12. mudpuddles:

    Which makes you nothing but a bigoted, totalitarian thug.

    No. Well, maybe. But to me, it makes him a good student of Catholicism, and marks him as just one amongst millions of Africans who’s view of the world has been poisoned by Catholic missions. Many small shops and grocers here in Ireland have collection boxes in support of the ongoing missions in Africa, and everytime I see them I think of this kind of despicable rhetoric which is a direct result of their efforts, and which too often is backed up by violent acts against normal, decent people. And I think “FUCK you, Catholic church. Fuck you with a hot poker, you disgusting excuses for human beings.”

    The national broadcaster here, RTE, recently had a radio interview with a Catholic priest who has carried on a mission in remote parts of Africa for several decades. It was all glowing and full of praise for this decent man who “dedicated his life to helping the poor”. Bringing them a new brand of superstition, wrapped up in bigotry, fear and irrational nonsense…. yeah, how very noble.

  13. mudpuddles:

    And I think “FUCK you, Catholic church. Fuck you with a hot poker, you disgusting excuses for human beings.”

    (Oops, sorry PZ, if you’re reading… that was a metapor too!)

  14. Gregory in Seattle:

    Wikipedia: list of animals displaying homosexual behavior

    Follow the lik to the full mammals list, and you will see that the African Buffalo, Buffalo and Water Buffalo are listed has being documented displaying homosexual behavior. Bison, too. The full bird list includes chickens and turkeys.

    But then, he probably thinks that science is a liberal conspiracy of Satan.

  15. fifthdentist:

    A friend told me that gay sex is only satanic if you’re doing it right.

  16. Dr X:

    Gambia is shaped like a snake. That’s a clear sign that its president worships Satan.

  17. Artor:

    “I have never seen homosexual chicken, or turkey…I have buffalos from South Africa and Brazil and they never date each other.”

    Dude is obviously logic-impaired, but he’s also either incredibly near-sighted, never stepped outside, or is just outright lying. Nearly every animal species I know practices homosexual activity. At the park this weekend, I was treated to a view of two male dogs going at it off & on for hours, and as I write, my two male turtles are riding eachother around their tank in a pretty intimate fashion. It doesn’t take much looking to see that homosexuality, far from being a rare aberration, is as common as anything, everywhere.

  18. escuerd:

    Mudpuddles @12:

    The Gambia’s mostly Muslim, as is Jammeh (Yahya is the Arabic name for that character we anglophones call “John the Baptist”). Catholic and other Christian missionaries certainly aren’t helping in Africa, but I suspect their influence is minimal in this case.

    Some might remember Jammeh as that leader who claimed he had developed a cure for AIDS a few years back. Seriously.

  19. mudpuddles:

    @ escuerd, #18

    Hi there escuerd, yes you are 100% correct thanks for correcting me! ; )
    I’ve been dealing with fallout from Catholic missions in Africa this week (trying to get people together for a regional science meeting, and finding myself hit with demands from a Catholic “science commission” tied to the hiost college that it be men only / evolution-free / explicitly anti-gay) so I’ve been on a bit of a hair trigger. A bit of research into Jammeh on my part would have been smart.

  20. dan4:

    “We are ready to eat grass…”

    WTF?

  21. iangould:

    “No. Well, maybe. But to me, it makes him a good student of Catholicism, and marks him as just one amongst millions of Africans who’s view of the world has been poisoned by Catholic missions”

    He’s a Muslim.

    Yoweri Museveni, the equally homophobic President of Uganda is an Evangelical Christian.

    Robert Mugabe is a Catholic.

    While all three use religion to support their homophobia, it has as much or more to do with anti-colonialism. (Colonialism was seen as emasculating or feminizing so, anti-colonialism required an assertion of masculinity.) You see the same thing in Muslim countries which were relatively tolerant of homosexuality prior to the colonial era and where homophobia is now widespread.

  22. martinc:

    This is really weird logic throughout, even allowing for the underlying bigotry.

    Homosexuality is anti-humanity. I have never seen homosexual chicken, or turkey

    But chickens and turkeys aren’t human. So surely his failure to observe homosexuality in anything but humans establishes homosexuality as human, not anti-human, by his lights?

    I have buffalos from South Africa and Brazil and they never date each other.

    Firstly, is this suggesting that humans should learn their morality from buffalos? Secondly, this ‘magic thinking’ similarity argument would appear to apply more to the mixed marriage argument of the 1960s rather than to homosexuality.

    We are ready to eat grass

    This one’s a head-scratcher. Is he implying he’s a buffalo? If so, will he be dating South African or Brazilian? Or – God forbid – both? Or is “eat grass” a euphemism for cunnilingus? If so, YJ, I’d definitely recommend you go for the Brazilian.

  23. escuerd:

    Mudpuddles @19:

    I empathize with you greatly. The Catholic Church is utterly deplorable for the harm they’re doing all over the world (and particularly in Africa) with their opposition to condoms, other forms of birth control, abortion and gay rights. And sadly, as you illustrate, creationism (and anti-science in general) is still very common in Catholic circles, official dogma or not.

  24. mudpuddles:

    escuerd #23

    Yes in our case its a mixture of creationism and “don’t discuss evolution because its controvesial”. To keep the Catholic group happy, we are not to allow women (because it could encourage fornication, or something), we can’t discuss evolutionary perspectives (because Genesis and its hard and someone might be upset) and the conference statement should refute homosexuality.

    This is to be a very small gathering to talk about student perspectives on the future of nature conservation in Africa. So of course, no women, biology, or gays. Grrrrr.

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