Zimbabwe, the ACLJ, and the Criminalization of Homosexuality

Last year, we noticed that Pat Robertson’s American Center for Law and Justice was setting up satellite offices in both Zimbabwe and Kenya with plans to participate in the drafting of their respective constitutions. 

A few months ago, we saw how the ACLJ was working out outlaw abortion in Kenya’s constitution, and this story makes me wonder what sort of impact they might be having on Zimbabwe’s:

Didymus Mutasa, a powerful figure in President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF political party, said his party will see to it that homosexuality is outlawed in the new constitution and that stiff penalties will be put in place for those who engage in the practice.

Mutasa, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Zanu (PF) politburo Secretary for administration, told villagers that his party had already taken a position on what should be included or excluded in the new constitution.

“As a party, we now have our positions for inclusion in the new constitution and we hope these will be captured accurately,” Mutasa said.

“Practices such as homosexuality, abortion and euthanasia which offend human and public morality should be outlawed.”

Mutasa said the new document should contain stiff penalties to ensure those who indulged in homosexuality were dealt with severely.

He said he had been angered by some Christian organisations, which were lobbying for the inclusion of gay rights in the new document.

Mutasa said foreign interference on such matters was unacceptable.

“We are surprised that some Christian organisations are advocating for gay rights to be included in the constitution, yet we know that gay marriages are even forbidden in the Bible,” Mutasa said.

The ACLJ has been actively involved in the process of drafting Zimbabwe’s new constitution and regularly been meeting with government officials:

Given the ACLJ’s deep involvement in this process, it is not unreasonable to ask if the organization had anything to do language to criminalize homosexuality in Zimbabwe and, if they didn’t, whether they support such efforts.