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Botswana Politician Defends Anti-gay Comments

GABORONE, Botswana (AP) - A prominent Botswana politician is defending anti-gay comments he made, despite criticism from rights groups in the southern African country.

Deputy Speaker Pono Motloadi disparaged gays late last month during a meeting organized by AIDS groups on the subject of preventing the spread of HIV in prisons. In an interview this week with The Associated Press, he called homosexuality "a culture away from our culture."

Gay rights activist Lorraine Setuke calls Motloadi's comments "barbaric."

Motloadi's views are not uncommon on this conservative continent. Botswana is among dozens of African countries with anti-gay laws, though prosecutions here are rare.