Outrage as EU Rep calls for gay rights in The Gambia
The European Union Ambassador and Head of Delegation to The Gambia, Attila LAJOS, has come under heavy criticism for suggesting that The Gambia should unbanned homosexuality in the country as the 1997 constitution entrenched the right of every Gambian, regardless of sexual orientation. The Gambians are predominantly of Muslim and Christian faiths, both of which prohibits homosexuality. Engaging in homosexual act in The Gambia is also a criminal offence.
The EU Rep made the call in tweets under the “EU in Gambia” Twitter handle, much to the anger of some Gambians, some of whom have asked for him to be declared persona non grata in The Gambia. His words: “As entrenched in the 1997 Constitution, all Gambians have an equal right to education, employment, health services and political participation. Gay and lesbian Gambians are, first and foremost, Gambians.” Ambassador LAJOS continued in a separate tweet thus: “The EU stands ready to take action to protect human rights defenders. In The Gambia (2019), the EU had to use its Human Rights safeguarding mechanism to save someone whose life was threatened because of his sexual orientation. Such threats have no place in a democratic society.” However, in an open letter to the EU Ambassador, Ansumana B. Bojang fumed: “As a citizen of The Gambia , I would want to state emphatically in respect to the overtures made by the EU Ambassador to the Gambia, that "Homosexuality should be unbanned in The Gambia". I wish to state in an unequivocal terms that, The Gambia will not and will never in the future accept gayism and gay rights in the country. In as much as we have unwavering respect and love for human rights and dignity, I want to reiterate that gayism is barbaric, dehumanizing, panyaric and have no place in our social fiber as a country striving to get its narrative right.“ Also weighing in on the issue and exposing the EU/Western world hypocracy, Lamin Tamba, UK based Environmental Scientist, Lawyer and Actor wrote: “ The EU Ambassador is right but I wonder why EU/The West, who are 400 years ahead of Gambia/Africa, took centuries to accept same-sex marriages. It will take Africa that many years to implement it but first, we would like the EU, The West, since they are advanced and can easily implement, and they are liberal, and they are all about people’s rights of association, partnership, family, love, right of choice, implement some African cultures too, such as Polygamy, please. We may not like polygamy, me included, but it’s people’s freedom of choice. We may not like Female Circumscission, and I hope it’s outlawed for medical and personal reasons, but the EU/The West should allow Africans to practise it on their soil, if they want to. It’s a two-way street! Respect my culture and I’ll respect yours. Other commentators accuse the EU dimplomat of using aid money to dictate or impose western values that are in conflict with Gambian culture and beliefs.