WATCH: Zimbabwe's President Tells U.N.: 'We Are Not Gays!'
President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe took to the floor of the United Nations on Monday to speak out against LGBT rights. Complaining about "double standards," the African leader declared his country's dedication to "human rights" while denigrating efforts to raise awareness about the abuse of LGBT people in his nation.
"Respecting and upholding human rights is the obligation of all states, and is enshrined in the United Nations charter," Mugabe told the gathered delegates. Then he played the victim card:
"Nowhere does the charter abrogate the right to some to sit in judgment over others, in carrying out this universal obligation. In that regard, we reject the politicization of this important issue and the application of double standards to victimize those who dare think and act independently of the self-anointed prefects of our time."
"We equally reject attempts to prescribe "new rights" that are contrary to our values, norms, traditions, and beliefs," he continued, before barking, "We are not gays!"
LGBT people face constant persecution in Zimbabwe and is often used as a whipping post for the country's economic issues. Mugabe has often railed against LGBT rights, once saying gays and lesbians are “worse than pigs and dogs."
The United States and other Western countries have threatened to cut aid to African nations that continue to arrest or physically abuse their LGBT citizens. In 2011, a member of Zimbabwe's parliament was jailed for alleging that Mugabe's homophobia hides his own homosexuality.
Mugabe has held firm to his anti-LGBT stance, insisting that LGBT people will never have civil rights in Zimbabwe, no matter the financial consequences.
"We say no to gay rights,” he said before the country adopted a new constitution. “We will not listen to those advocating for their rights in the new constitution. We say no to gays! We will not listen to those advocating the inclusion of their rights in the constitution."
Watch below as Mugabe sounds off on LGBT rights, below.