Gambia President Calls Gays One of the 'Biggest Threats to Human Existence'

By Daniel Reynolds

Originally published on September 27 2013 12:14 PM ET

The president of Gambia denounced gays and lesbians at the United Nations General Assembly today, reports the Associated Press. In his U.N. address, he reportedly classified same-sex attraction as one of the three “biggest threats to human existence.”

Yahya Jammeh, who first seized control of the West African nation in a 1994 military coup, ranked homosexuality alongside obsession with power and greed as “more deadly than all natural disasters put together.”

The 48-year-old president is notoriously antigay. In 2008 he gave an ultimatum to the gay and lesbian residents of Gambia, telling them to either leave the country or face execution by beheading.

In 2007 he instituted a controversial HIV treatment program in Gambia, which encouraged patients to forgo antiretroviral medication in favor of herbal remedies. He claimed this treatment would cure HIV, despite contradictory research. In 2011 he said his critics can “go to hell,” reports BBC News.