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Gay Group Ousted From Book Fair

Tue., Aug. 1, 1995

A key organizer pulled out Monday and otherresignations were expected after the government banned a gay organization from participating in one of Africa’s largest book fairs.

Publisher Susan McMillan, a member of the Zimbabwe book fair’s board of trustees, said the ban on the Zimbabwe Gay and Lesbian Association undermined the credibility of the fair, whose theme addresses human rights.

Nobel literature laureates Nadine Gordimer of South Africa and Wole Soyinka of Nigeria were among eminent African writers who signed a protest letter Friday calling on the government to honor “the human rights principle on which we accepted to participate” in the fair.

Officials in Zimbabwe’s government argue that homosexuality is foreign to African tradition.

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