Ethiopian church-affiliated group urges action against gays


ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) – A group affiliated with Ethiopia’s Orthodox Church is condemning what it calls the government’s silence on homosexuality in the country.

Speaking at a conference Sunday in Addis Ababa, the capital, Dereje Negash of the Orthodox Church group dedicated to an Ethiopian saint, said the government’s indifference on the issue is helping the LGBT movement.

Dereje charged that foreigners are spreading homosexuality “using aid, politics and technology.”

He urged authorities to enact strong laws against same-sex relations.

A local LGBT activist told The Associated Press he fears for his safety, citing widespread misconceptions such as the belief that gays are rapists.

Ethiopia has a deeply religious society, with Christianity and Islam having many followers.

Under Ethiopian law, homosexual acts are punishable with jail terms of up to 15 years.