- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Obama administration over the weekend blasted Gambian President Yahya Jammeh for reportedly saying he would slit the throats of gay men in the West African nation.

Mr. Jammeh’s remarks were reported by the Human Rights Campaign. Homosexuality is illegal in Gambia.

The White House said Mr. Jammeh’s comments highlight a “deterioration” of human rights across that country.

“The recent unconscionable comments by Gambian President Yahya Jammeh underscore why we must continue to seek a world in which no one lives in fear of violence or persecution because of who they are or whom they love. We condemn his comments, and note these threats come amid an alarming deterioration of the broader human rights situation in The Gambia,” National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice said in a statement.

“We repeat our call for the Gambian government, and all governments, to lead inclusively, repudiate intolerance, and promote respect for the universal rights and fundamental freedoms of all people,” Ms. Rice said.

In his own statement marking Sunday’s International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, President Obama said equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans remains one of his top priorities.

“We work toward this goal every day. Here at home, we are working to end bias-motivated violence, combat discrimination in the workplace, and address the specific needs of transgender persons. Overseas, I am proud of the steps that the United States has taken to prioritize the protection and promotion of LGBT rights in our diplomacy and global outreach,” Mr. Obama said.

“There is much more to do, and this fight for equality will not be won in a day. But we will keep working, at home and abroad, and we will keep fighting, for however long it takes until we are all able to live free and equal in dignity and rights,” the president said.

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