Speaking to The Standard in Banjul, Jatta said The Gambia will not accept gay rights under any circumstances.  

“America does not have any moral authority to preach human right to The Gambia. If you are a criminal how can you call someone else a criminal? We agree with accepting human rights in the country but we also reserve our rights to say we won’t accept gay rights. With all their threats of sanctions, we will remain with Allah and we will not bend under any pressure to accept gay rights,” he continued.  

“America may want to sanction or pressurise The Gambia because of their economic power but why don’t they do a similar thing to Saudi Arabia or Russia? Will you be a lesbian in Saudi Arabia? Why don’t they stop Israel from punishing the Palestinians and why don’t they close the Guantanamo Bay? There are people who have been at Guantanamo for ten years without trial and they can come here to tell us what human rights are?” 


The minority leader berated Western powers for being only driven by self-interest saying The Gambia “has been unfairly singled out”. He said The Gambia is ready to defend its sovereignty at whatever cost.  

“I was reading one article in which Ronald Reagan, an American president, was calling Mobuto Sese Seko our good friend and Mobuto is known to most people as a dictator. They don’t call their friends dictators even when they are horrible. America is driven by interest and in politics there is no permanent friend. We are a small country and they may not need much from us but we are also going to be by God and we will never accept gay rights. The same is true of EU. We are in fact being unfairly singled out because we are not hypocrites in our international dealings. What we say is what we believe in; we don’t play hypocrisy with double standards. That is why we are somehow disliked but the average Gambians are happy.

“We will remain with President Jammeh to the graveyard. We are part of the international community but we are also a sovereign state and we will protect that independence come heaven, come hell. We demand some respect and these powers must learn to accept what we do in our interest because we also accept theirs. We have a value system that does not allow gay rights and we won’t believe in it. We should be allowed to live our lives in a way that reflects our cultural norms and values. The president is acting on publics will. The vast majority of the people do not support gay rights and that should be respected. 

“Homosexuality is unethical, immoral, and unreligious and nobody will make us go against the will of Allah.  Therefore, we are against everything that depicts homosexuality and lesbianism. Life sentence punishment for gays is not even an issue here, Islam kills them. This is not from President Jammeh and we must have that in mind,” the top APRC lawmaker said. 

Barely a week ago, US National Security Council spokeswoman voiced concern over The Gambia’s move to enact tough new legislation against homosexuality and blocking access to top United Nation human rights investigators.

The US press release was preceded by a statement from the Gambian Foreign Minister Balla Garba Jahumpa, vowing that The Gambia will never allow gay rights as a precondition for aid.