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Homosexuals spark outrage in Bulawayo suburb


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Homosexuals spark outrage in Bulawayo suburb

Albert Makoni 17.SEP.07

BULAWAYO -- Residents of Bulawayo have expressed outrage at the Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) who have rented a house in North End suburb where members allegedly meet for weekend cocktail parties.

The residents said they feared that the organisation, which has embarked on a recruitment drive in the city, could influence their children to engage in gay activities.

Impeccable sources told The Zimbabwe Guardian that the organisation started renting the premises in May but the identity of the tenants only came to light recently.

According to sources close to the organisation, a number of youths have already applied to join GALZ, which is operating in city under another organization called Matabeleland Affinity Group.

It is believed that "Affinity Group" is the name now given to GALZ chapters.

There are also forms to enter a beauty pageant called Miss Jacaranda for members who have chosen to be identified as female.

Addresses on the forms show that most of the youths applying for membership were from affluent suburbs while a few were from the high-density suburbs.

Sources say the house in Moffat Street was vacant and members of GALZ only come during weekends to meet under the guise of holding HIV workshops.

"Most of the people who come here are very young. I was disgusted the first time I found out what was happening under our noses," said one source.

Another source said what was taking place at the house was unacceptable and called on the police to intervene.

Residents say they fear that if the organisation is allowed to continue operating from the suburb, youths might be influenced to join.

The owner of the house, Margaret Britto, said she did not know that her house was being used for 'immoral activities'.

Britto said when GALZ officials approached her, they said the house would be used as an office for offering counselling services to gays and lesbians so that they lived a normal life.

Gay activist and operations manager at GALZ Chesterfield Samba confirmed that the organization had offices in Bulawayo?s North End surbub but denied that GALZ members were engaging in 'immoral activities' at the premises.

Speaking to The Zimbabwe Guardian from GALZ?s head offices in Harare Samba accused Bulawayo residents of deliberately spreading falsehoods about GALZ members in order to tarnish the image of the organization.

"All that stuff is patently false. Clearly people are just trying to tarnish the image of our organization. But it?s not new, we have walked this road before," said Samba.

Samba also confirmed that GALZ was organizing a beauty pageant ? Miss Jacaranda - for its members which he said was a traditional calendar event held every year to coincide with the blooming of the Jacaranda trees in October.

GALZ which has its headquarters in Milton Park - a residential suburb in Harare - was formed in 1990 to protect the rights of same sex partners.

But homosexuality is illegal in Zimbabwe.

The organisation rose to prominence in the mid 1990s when it challenged illegal bans by government on its participation at the annual Zimbabwe International Book Fair.

- ? 2007 The Zimbabwe Guardian. All Rights Reserved.

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It's sure nice to see that the world is such a free and welcoming place. One very obvious error in the article though, was the use of "impeccable" to describe their sources. I believe the word should have been "imbecilic".

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The residents said they feared that the organisation, which has embarked on a recruitment drive in the city, could influence their children to engage in gay activities.

Last time I checked, Homosexuality isn't a hobby like building models, collecting rocks or woodworking.

If you are not gay or bisexual no one could possibly influence you in that direction. It simply doesn't work that way.

On the other hand, kids that are gay or bisexual will figure things out on their own unpon reaching puberty and parents had better pray that someone tells them how to avoid HIV.

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