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Homophobia Explodes In Tanzania, Health Minister Threatens 'Gay List'


The situation for gay and bi men in the east African nation goes from bad to worse.

Priority number one for Tanzania's deputy health minister is tormenting gay and bisexual men; he's now threatening to break up a "homosexuality syndicate" and publish names of gay sex workers.

As he's prone to do, Hamisi Kigwangalla took to Twitter to post his latest threat. 

"I will publish a list of gay people selling their bodies online," Kigwangalla wrote, according to a translation from the German publication Deutsche Welle. "Those who think this campaign is a joke, are wrong. The government has long arms and it will quietly arrest all those involved. Once arrested, they will help us find others."

Previously known as relatively lenient when it came to LGBT issues, Tanzania has recently taken a far-right turn. To curb gay sex, which is punishable by decades in prison, the nation partially banned lubricants. Meanwhile, health minister Ummy Mwalimu made the situation even worse by blocking HIV services at dozens of health centers operated by charities or non-governmental organizations; it's believed nearly a quarter of gay and bi Tanzanian men are HIV-positive. The nation's justice minister announced last year that Tanzania would suspend any NGO that supports homosexuality. 

“If there’s a homosexual who has a Facebook account, or with an Instagram account, all those who ‘follow’ him, it is very clear that they are just as guilty as the the homosexual,” he told a cheering crowd last year in the city of Dar es Salaam.

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Neal Broverman