August 3, 1996 in Nation/World

Fist-Waving Foes Chase Out Gay Rights Group

Compiled From Wire Services

Gay rights activists abandoned their booth at Africa’s biggest book fair Friday after it was besieged by fist-waving opponents trying to prevent the display of gay rights pamphlets.

Roughly 100 protesters kept the activists from showing the pamphlets - which the government has called obscene - despite a second court ruling Friday in favor of the group Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe.

Demonstrators chanted anti-gay slogans and brandished their fists at the empty booth. Some threatened to burn the stand.

“We don’t want to turn violent, but these people are violating our rights. GALZ must be completely destroyed. They are here to rearrange the hormones of our youths,” said Nixon Nyikadzino, an economics student.

Other demonstrators chanted: “Gays are from Europe. Leave Africa for the Africans.”

The activists said they will try again today to display their material.

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