Gay conference in Ethiopia shifts venue

The controversial homosexual conference that sparked quite a controversy over the past week in Ethiopia has reportedly shifted its venue from its originally scheduled Jupiter Hotel in Addis to the UN Conference Center yesterday. Following the cancellation of a religious leaders’ press briefing condemning the conference last Tuesday, controversy has been raging in the capital Addis for days. The African Men for Sexual Health and Rights (AMSHeR), the organizer of the conference, noted on its website yesterday day that the new venue has been shifted to the UN Conference Center from its previous location Jupiter Hotel. However, the management of Jupiter Hotel has denied that such event was all together planned to take place there following the announcement of the group in its website earlier in the week. Roman Tafeswork, General Manager of Jupiter Hotel, responded to The Reporter's inquiries regarding the AMSHeR meeting saying that no such meeting was scheduled to be held at Jupiter Hotel and that the rumors are defamatory in nature.

The meeting, whose theme is “Claim, scale-up, and sustain”, is a pre-conference to the 16th International Conference on AIDS and STDs in Africa (ICASA). According to the new schedule the conference will dwell on an array of agendas like health and human right issues facing homosexuals in Africa including the criminalization of consensual same-sex practice, new biomedical approach to HIV prevention and others.

At the cancellation of the press briefing it was reported that immediately prior to the cancellation a one-hour-long closed meeting was held, which was attended by the representatives of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council, the Ethiopian Catholic Church and Protestant denominations, as well as Minster of Health TewodrosAdhanom.

African Men for Sexual Health and Rights (AMSHeR) is a well-known gay activist group in Africa. Its website lists event speakers as including the Executive Director of UNAIDS Michel Sidibe, the United States Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby, among others.

The discussions are to focus on health and human rights issues facing gays.

These events have sparked unprecedented controversy in Addis Ababa and among the Ethiopian community at large including online forums and websites.

The Ethiopian Criminal Code criminalizes homosexuality.

By Asrat Seyoum and Haile Mulu

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  • ethiopian

    @sandbage, if God exists, he will bless you for you it. I would imagine if God exists, he wanted his followers to be more like you.

  • sandbage

    I admire people like you who are dedicated and stand for what they believe. I did copy the link that you posted and I will read it for sure, and I have to thank you for that. To be honest don’t like people who give their back when atrocity happen on weak, in our case the gay community. This verse is taken from the bible Psalm 12:5 "Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise," says the LORD. "I will protect them from those who malign them." I am for gay right there is no question about it. I am supporting them not because I like what they do, I am absolutely against it, but it is not my business to impose my interest and believe on them. Finally this is my last comment on this topic. God bless

  • B

    OMG! please dont give a REALLY BAD IMAGE FOR OUR COUNTRY when god create Adam first he thinks someone for Adam and God didnt create another Adam he creates Hewan. i think the peoples who have this idea they are may be foreigners or who lived others country who have a gay community u can be gay or u may join or create a gay community BUT NOT IN ETHIOPIA DONT DESTROY OUR BEAUTIFUL CULTURE.

  • ethiopian

    I am sure I do not need to tell you which verses are terrible. But if you ask me, I will. What do you do of those verses.
    I will end my chain of posts here for now. So what I expect from you is to show me proof that gay is a choice, if you believe that although your post was ambiguous. and show me what you do with bad verses, and what I missed that others won't

  • ethiopian

    I agree there are plenty of problems with reading the bible literally. Namingly it says there was a world wide floor (No evidence of that), the earth is 6000 years old (I laugh at that) etc... But there is a bigger problem in picking and choosing verses you like.

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