Obama provokes clash with African host over gay rights
DAKAR, Senegal, June 27, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On the first leg of his $100 million African tour, President Barack Obama opened a dispute with his host country over the issue of homosexuality.
President Obama landed in the nation of Senegal overnight, the first stop of a three-nation tour to include Tanzania and South Africa.
At a press conference on Thursday, the president hailed two U.S. Supreme Court decisions liberalizing gay “marriage” in the United States and made a not-so subtle criticism of his host nation.
"People should be treated equally, and that's a principle that I think applies universally," Obama stated.
Homosexuality is illegal in Senegal, which bans any “improper or unnatural act with a person of the same sex.”
Obama reportedly did not raise the issue of homosexuality in his private discussions with Sall. But he raised it in a public venue.
Senegalese President Macky Sall did not overlook his guest's critique, saying his nation “is not homophobic” and is “very tolerant.” In his own pointed retort, Sall said that Senegal did not practice capital punishment.
The backlash called to mind a similar response to President Obama in Northern Ireland, where he blamed the country's century-old strife on the existence of parochial schools in a speech to schoolchildren.
The president put the promotion and normalization of homosexuality worldwide at the heart of U.S. foreign policy in his first term, often straining relations with traditional Muslim and Catholic nations that reject what they regard as Western “cultural imperialism.”
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At the same press conference, President Obama stated the justices' rulings were “a victory for American democracy.”
The High Court ruling in Hollingsworth v. Perry allowed a judge to overturn the decision of a statewide election, as 7 million Californian voters endorsed Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union between one man and one woman.
The 5-4 ruling held that the people had no standing in court to defend the result of their election from a ruling made by Judge Vaughn Walker.
The president called the plaintiffs of both cases from Air Force One as he was en route to his trip.
Barack was not the only Obama to show his support for redefining marriage, and for the spread of homosexuality in Africa.
As they boarded Air Force One, 12-year-old Sasha Obama carried a rainbow purse to express her support for redefining marriage.