Seanad debates

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Commencement Matters

Human Rights

10:30 am

Photo of Jerry ButtimerJerry Buttimer (Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Minister of State. He will agree that the words of the Tanzanian Government provide little comfort. There is real fear and anxiety among people who want to avoid arrests and forms of discrimination that have no place in any society. The President of Tanzania has form in this area. The Tanzanian Government continues to have the punishment of homosexual acts on its statute books. We are trying to bring a cultural change in this regard to the continent of Africa, parts of eastern Europe and other parts of the world.It is important to recognise that the Minister of State and the Tánaiste are supportive and I welcome their interventions. The President of Tanzania has form in this respect. The deputy health Minister defended a threat to publish a list of gay people by saying: "Give me their names". All of us who live in a free society recognise that has no place and no part to play.

Mr. Makonda, a staunch ally of the President, said he expected international criticism for the move, but added: "I prefer to anger those countries than to anger God." The God who I believe in is a God of justice, mercy and love who loves us all unconditionally. We must make every effort and take every opportunity at international level to call out this disgraceful behaviour.


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