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Zimbabwe's president, the infamously antigay Robert Mugabe, says any suggestion that aid to his country be tied to whether it allows gay rights is "stupid" and "Satanic."
Mugabe was reacting to British Prime Minister David Cameron, who said countries should "adhere to proper human rights," including the rights of LGBT individuals, before deserving foreign aid. In the coming years, more than $100 million in aid to Zimbabwe from Britain had been proposed, according to the Telegraph.
International news sources report that Mugabe made his comments during a speech that was noticed by the state-run Herald newspaper. In the speech, Mugabe speaks directly to young people and issues a warning.
"Do not get tempted into that (homosexuality)," Mugabe reportedly said. "You are young people. If you go that direction, we will punish you severely."
As recently as last year, two gay rights activists were arrested for merely sharing a letter written by former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown that criticized Mugabe for his antigay views.
Cameron had directed his comments at countries like Malawi, which had sentenced a pair of gay men to prison before reversing their decision under international pressure. But that didn't stop Mugabe from again threatening punishment for gay people in his own country.
"It becomes worse and satanic when you get a prime minister like Cameron saying countries that want British aid should accept homosexuality," he said. "To come with that diabolic suggestion to our people is a stupid offer."
Gay sex is illegal in Zimbabwe, as are same-sex public displays of affection. But Mugabe is fighting an effort to include protection for LGBT citizens in a new draft of his country's constitution. "We say no to gays!" he said during a speech last year. As far back as the '90s, he's compared gay people to dogs and pigs in his crusade against them.