Following on the president’s open rejections of the United States ambassador’s pro-gay stance in a recent court judgment, the Zambian government has reportedly asked that the envoy leaves the country while it awaits a diplomatic response from the United States.
The ambassador had criticized the Zambian government for jailing a gay couple for 15 years. Ambassador Daniel Foote was quoted as saying that he was “horrified” by the 15-year jail term handed to a gay couple.
Foote’s open criticism of the Zambian government and declaration of his pro-gay stance started the rift with the government which has ultimately led to his expulsion from the country.
In a stern response to Foote’s attack, Zambia’s Foreign Minister released a statement asking the ambassador to refer to ongoings in Washington where President Trump was pushing pro-family and anti-LGBTI policies.
Zambian President Edgar Lungu made reference to a diplomatic démarche between the two countries, in a church event early this week. Lusaka had written to Washington concerning the ambassador’s comments.
A December 15, 2019 statement from the presidency read in part: “State House will like to clarify that the president was not referring to any new démarche but the same one issued by Foreign Affairs.
“Therefore the Zambian government is still waiting for a response from the United States government concerning the complaint.”
The President has stood by his nation’s strict anti-homosexuality laws stressing in an interview with Britain’s Sky News that homosexuality was “unbiblical and un-Christian,” going further to liken it to bestiality.
“We know that there could be people who are homosexual in Zambia. But we don’t want to promote it, because we frown upon it, the practice. Most of us say it’s wrong. It’s unbiblical, un-Christian and we don’t want it.
“Even animals don’t do it. Why should we be forced to do it? We want to be forced to do it because we want to be seen to be smart, to be seen as civilized and advanced and so on.
“If there are such countries which will allow bestiality, let them do it. But not here,” the president added.