United Republic of Tanzania has blasted the United Kingdom over its threat to withhold aid from governments that do not reform legislation banning homosexuality.
Tanzania’s statement was in response to UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s threat to cut UK aid to developing countries that ban homosexuality including Tanzania. The prime minister said he had raised the issue with leaders of some of the states involved when he attended the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Perth, Australia.
According to the Tanzanian government statement posted on the Facebook page of President Kikwete, quoting Tanzanian Foreign Minister Mr. Bernard Membe, has said Tanzanian laws and its culture should be respected and its sovereignty should not be interfered by a foreign nation.
Membe considers the UK policy as threatening and it could shatter diplomatic relations between countries.
He said “in Tanzania, marriage is between a man and a woman; therefore there will be no constitutional amendment allowing homosexuality and same-sex marriages will still be punishable with 30 years imprisonment according to the constitution.”
Amongst 54 Commonwealth countries, only 13 countries have legislation allowing homosexuality.
Homosexual acts are illegal in Tanzania and most other African countries. Many people see homosexual behavior as violating religious and cultural beliefs and support for homosexuality laws reform is very unpopular among Africans. click for more news