BOOSHTEE! Survival and Resilience in Ethiopia
IDS Evidence Report 129
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Although homosexuality is illegal in Ethiopia, same-sex behaviour is not prosecuted because the government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia views homosexuality as a low law enforcement priority.
While this may suggest at first glance that the situation for same-sex attracted men is better in Ethiopia than in other countries that retain laws against homosexuality, in reality the illegality of same-sex relations functions throughout Ethiopian society to drive and justify social and economic exclusion and human rights abuses of samesex attracted people.
There is a powerful synergy between church and state and sections of the church are occupied with promulgating extreme homophobia by associating homosexuality with taboo superstition, undesirable foreign influence, child abuse and prostitution. Moreover, Ethiopia’s strong economic growth and geopolitical situation has limited the influence of other countries, donors and agencies in respect of human rights and economic or social policy in the country.