WASHINGTON, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of State criticized Gambian President Yahya Jammeh for his anti-gay remarks at Gambia's national day ceremony on Tuesday.
Jammeh stated during his national address that "ungodly and decadent cultures like homosexuality" of foreign powers "will never be accepted in this country." Such "satanic forces," the president claimed, will lead to incestuous relations.
"Homosexuality will never be tolerated and in fact will attract the ultimate penalty since it is intended to bring humanity to an inglorious extinction. We will fight these vermins called Homosexuals or gays the same way we are fighting malaria-causing mosquitoes; if not more aggressively.We will therefore not accept any friendship, aid or any other gesture that is conditional on accepting Homosexuals or L.G.B.T. as they are now baptised by the powers that promote them. As far as I am concerned, L.G.B.T can only stand for Leprosy, Gonorrhoea, Bacteria and Tuberculosis; all of which are detrimental to human existence.
"Let me also make it very clear that Gambia will not spare any homosexual and therefore no Diplomatic Immunity will be respected for any Diplomat who is found guilty or accused of being a homosexual. We will also not accept Diplomats that are homosexuals."
Secretary of State John Kerry responded to President Jammeh's "hateful rhetoric" in a statement released the following day. The U.S., Kerry said, was "deeply troubled" by the president's speech and called on the Gambian government "to protect the human rights of all Gambians." The secretary also encouraged "the international community to send a clear signal that statements of this nature have no place in the public dialogue and are unacceptable."
Kerry concluded his remarks by saying that "Human rights and fundamental freedoms belong to all individuals. The United States stands by you no matter where you are and no matter who you love."
[The Point] [State Department]