We re-publish here the un-edited news story by the Banjul-based Gambia Observer published on December 10th, International Human Rights Day, so that you may read for yourselves the manner in which this kind of information is conveyed to Gambians.
This government-backed demonstration, to distract Gambians from their real problems, was attended by President Jammeh, included the reading of a lengthy government petition against “homosexualism.”
Gambia: Thousands March to Say ‘No to Homosexuality’
Authors: Alieu Ceesay & Musa Ndow; December 10, 2014
Thousands of Gambians drawn from all walks of life Tuesday afternoon took to the streets in Banjul to denounce attempts by outside forces – development partners – who advocate for homosexuality and lesbianism; vices forbidden by the laws of The Gambia.
The demonstrators, who were joined by the President of the Republic, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Dr. Alhaji Yahya AJJ Jammeh, expressed their total disapproval of attempts to tie aid to The Gambia to so called homosexual and lesbian rights.
Protesters, who started the procession at the National Assembly through State House carried placards and banners bearing; “Homosexuality is Inhuman”; “Even cows don’t do it!” “Homosexuality is forbidden in Islam”. It was calculated move by the demonstrators in a way to show to Gambian development partners and the rest of the world that the West African nation is one of God-fearing people who will under no circumstances accept homosexuality, lesbianism and the likes.
At the July 22nd Square in Banjul where demonstrators gathered to mark the end of the procession, a petition against homosexualism was read on behalf of protesters by the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Lands and Regional Government, Saihou Sanyang.
It reads: “Your Excellency Mr. President, it is important to contextualise such a lofty statesmanship within the overall provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia 1997. This, in clear terms and provisions has stipulated that The Gambia is an independent sovereign state on equal status with all other nations irrespective of geographic size, economic or political might or wherewithal.
It is on the basis of principles of the equality, self-determination, and mutual co-existence that our foreign policies, which are but extensions of our domestic policies, are based. It is important to state that the spirit of the Constitution irrespective of its legalistic architecture in both its totality and otherwise is not the voice of the philosophical, religious, ethical, moral, and social values. As a country of religious people who live by the dictate of Allah as commanded in the religious preachings and their protractors, the stance on the principle of secularity in no way admits or accepts the principle to immoralities.
“Your Excellency Mr. President, it goes without saying that our intolerance with the unnatural and abominable malpractices of homosexuality and lesbianism on the one hand, and the other, our government’s position are not negotiable. It is on the basis of such religious, social, moral and ethical upbringing built on high moral grounds that we stand by our government’s position to zero tolerance to either homosexuality or lesbianism or both. There shall not be any turning point and that the people are ready for eventuals in good defence of the people and country’s independence”.
PS Sanyang used the opportunity to urge Gambians to fully rally behind the President and the government in pursuit of things that are good for the masses. Reiterating that Gambians have spoken and that there will be no negotiations, he equally urged lawmakers to be at the forefront of guarding the interest of the country against such tendencies.
The Daily Observer also sampled the views of some demonstrators and they were unanimous in their views against these menaces.
“Homosexuality should not be tolerated in The Gambia because it is against the teachings of the Holy Qur’an,” a grade 11 student of Muslim Senior School stated.
Making a contrast view on homosexuality as a human rights issue, Miss Jatta remarked: “We will never allow it and we are fully behind our President.”
Another demonstrator, Aji Kaddy Marenah, said Gambians should be more God-fearing and denounce homosexuality. “We are all created by God and let’s be contented in what we have,” she said, urging for all to rally behind the President.
Talibo Konjira of Latrikunda Sabiji said: “The Gambia is a decent country of decent people. Man to man marriage or woman to woman marriage will not be accepted because it is not acceptable by our tradition and cultures. Even animals know that it is not decent”.