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UN Head: African Leaders Should Respect Gay Rights

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says African nations should stop treating gays as "second-class citizens, or even criminals."

Ban told African leaders that gathered in Ethiopia's capital on January 29 for an African Union summit that discrimination based on sexual orientation "had been ignored or even sanctioned by many states for far too long."

Ban said it would be challenging for Africa to "confront this discrimination."

There was no immediate response from African heads of states to Ban's speech.

Many African countries outlaw homosexuality and many African churches preach against it.

The two-day summit is set to elect a new African Union Commission chair.

Compiled from agency reports