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Gay Zimbabweans Face Corrective Rape


Some gay men and lesbians in Zimbabwe have been raped and forced into heterosexual marriages by people who seek to "convert" them from homosexuality, said an official from the U.S. State Department during a discussion about the agency's annual human rights report.

According to the Associated Press, "Gay men were forced into heterosexual acts and lesbian women were raped, sometimes by male relatives, to teach them to change their ways, said Amanda Porter, political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Harare and compiler of the report."

"Hate speech by politicians against the nation's small gay community fueled social pressures on families, Porter said," according to the AP. "And crimes against human rights and sexual abuse against gays were rarely reported to police."

President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai both have expressed personal abhorrence of gay people. Mugabe said gay rights would not be protected in a new Zimbabwe constitution, but Tsvangirai called for tolerance, the AP reports.

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