GALZ Wants Homosexuality Enshrined In New Constitution
October 25, 1999
The Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe want the new Constitution to allow consensual
same-sex relations between adults in privacy.
However, the Guadalupe Association of Zimbabwe, an organisation which campaigns for the
right to life, said the new constitution should place limitations on people's sexual
The constitution should "not allow homosexually orientated people to proselytise
openly or secretly in schools and youth movements, etc.".
"This is a point that is supported by an overwhelming majority," the
association said in its petition to the commission.
GALZ programm manager, Keith Goddard, however, insisted that a sexual orientation
clause did not mean the "slippery slope down towards the acceptance of bestiality,
sexual abuse of children, sex in the streets, sex with dead bodies and other forms of
He was petitioning the Constitutional Commission's plenary session in Harare yesterday.
"A sexual orientation clause does not mean the social acceptance of abusive
behaviour. Violence is wrong.
"A sexual orientation clause does not confer special rights and privileges on
lesbians and gay men; it will simply guarantee us the same rights and privileges which are
afforded heterosexuals," he said.
Mr Goddard said the clause did not mean an end to Christian civilisation as many gays
and lesbians were people of faith and posed no threat to society.
"A sexual orientation clause does not mean the destruction of Zimbabwean culture
and an end to the Africa way of life; it means that the many different cultures will be
encouraged to recognise and accommodate our relationships," he said.
He said the clause would not lead to the demise of the human race because "at any
one time in history", the number of living homosexuals is around 10 percent of the
"A sexual orientation clause does mean gays and lesbians of Zimbabwe will have
protection that makes it easy to challenge anti-gay legislation and bring added clarity to
"In particular, it means making a proper distinction between consensual sodomy
(which should be decriminalised) and enforced sodomy which should properly be called
rape," he said.
Supporting the GALZ stance, a 23 year-old lesbian, Ms Sikhanyisiwe Ngwenya, said:
"I would like the new constitution to include the rights of lesbians in Zimbabwe.
"Zimbabwe, as a nation, must accept the fact that there are lesbians in Zimbabwe
from all races and creeds, and I am one of them."
Ms Ngwenya said discrimination against women in the country was high and "as
lesbians we are made to suffer even more than the ordinary women".
In his submission to the Commission, a homosexual man identified as Sweetie said
campaigns against homosexuals were emotionally damaging to individuals and families of gay
He said society must recognise gay relationships and stop equating them with rapists,
murderers and criminals and "calling us worse than pigs and dogs."
He said he has been in a "loving relationship" for seven years with a black
man of 26.
"My partner and I are living together in a township in Harare.
"Having met him just after my O-level, I know I was definitely not influenced into
entering into this relationship by other people," he said.
[Home] [World] [Zimbabwe]