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Gay rights victory in Ethiopia

An anti-gay march was planned in Addis Ababa to protest against homosexuality and raise support for tougher anti-gay laws
Mulatu Teshome is the president of Ethiopia.

Gay rights victories in Ethiopia are scarce. But officials announced today (16 April) a rally protesting against homosexuality was cancelled.

Two groups had been planning to hold a large rally against gay people in Addis Ababa on 26 April.

The initiative was planned after Uganda and Nigeria recently passed anti-gay legislation, with a religious group hoping to raise support of toughening up Ethiopia’s anti-homosexuality laws.

‘The country has seen an increase in gay-related activities and this has reached an alarming stage,’ said Dereje Negash, the head of a Christian Association, Woyniye Abune Teklehaimanot.

In the east African country, Ethiopia punishes homosexuality by up to 15 years in prison.

But in a turnaround, the religious group chairman spokesman said the cancellation came after people inside the church asked the government to prevent the rally.

Redwan Hussein, a government spokesman, said the government does not support the homophobic moments that have been building in Ethiopia and across Africa.

He told the AP plans to add gay sex to a list of crimes ineligible for a presidential pardon have been dropped.

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