LGBT rights in Africa

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Africa (orthographic projection).svg
Africa
StatusLegal in 21 out of 54 countries
Legal in all 8 territories
Gender identityLegal in 3 out of 54 countries
Legal in 7 out of 8 territories
MilitaryAllowed to serve openly in 1 out of 54 countries
Allowed in all 8 territories
Discrimination protectionsProtected in 7 out of 54 countries
Protected in all 8 territories
Family rights
Recognition of relationshipsRecognized in 1 out of 54 countries
Recognized in all 8 territories
RestrictionsSame-sex marriage constitutionally banned in 9 out of 54 countries
AdoptionLegal in 1 out of 54 countries
Legal in all 8 territories

With the exception of South Africa and Cape Verde, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights in Africa are very limited in comparison to many other areas of the world.

Out of the 54 states recognised by the United Nations or African Union or both, the International Gay and Lesbian Association stated in 2015 that homosexuality is outlawed in 34 African countries.[1] Human Rights Watch notes that another two countries, Benin and the Central African Republic, do not outlaw homosexuality, but have certain laws which apply differently to heterosexual and homosexual individuals.[2]

Homosexual activity between adults has never been criminalised in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, and Rwanda. It has been decriminalised in Angola, Botswana, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Lesotho, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe, the Seychelles and South Africa.

Since 2011, some developed countries have been considering or implementing laws that limit or prohibit general budget support to countries that restrict the rights of LGBT people.[3] In spite of this, many African countries have refused to consider increasing LGBT rights,[4] and in some cases have drafted laws to increase sanctions against LGBT people.[5] Many African leaders[who?] claim that it was brought into the continent from other parts of the world. Nevertheless, most scholarship and research demonstrates that homosexuality has long been a part of various African cultures.[6][7][8][9]

In Sudan, Somalia, Somaliland, Mauritania and northern Nigeria, homosexuality is punishable by death.[1] In Uganda, Tanzania, and Sierra Leone, offenders can receive life imprisonment for homosexual acts, although the law is not enforced in Sierra Leone. In addition to criminalizing homosexuality, Nigeria has enacted legislation that would make it illegal for heterosexual family members, allies and friends of LGBT people to be supportive. According to Nigerian law, a heterosexual ally "who administers, witnesses, abets or aids" any form of gender non-conforming and homosexual activity could receive a 10-year jail sentence.[10] South Africa has the most liberal attitudes toward gays and lesbians, the country legalized same-sex marriage and its Constitution guarantees gay and lesbian rights and protections. However, violence and social discrimination against South African LGBT people is still widespread, fueled by a number of religious and political figures. The Spanish, Portuguese, British and French territories legalised same-sex marriages.[11][12]

Gay and lesbian travellers to Africa should use discretion. Public displays of affection should generally be avoided, an advice which applies to both homosexual and heterosexual couples.[13] The most gay-friendly African country is usually considered to be South Africa, with regards to the legal status of LGBT rights, though Cape Verde, has also been often regarded as the most socially accepting,[14] as described in the documentary Tchindas.

History of male homosexuality in Africa[edit]

Ancient history[edit]

Egypt[edit]

It remains unclear, what exact view the ancient Egyptians fostered about homosexuality. Any document and literature that actually contains sexual orientated stories, never named the nature of the sexual deeds, but instead uses stilted and flowery paraphrases. Ancient Egyptian documents never clearly say that same-sex relationships were seen as reprehensible or despicable. No ancient Egyptian document mentions that homosexual acts were set under penalty. Thus, a straight evaluation remains problematic.[15][16]

Nyankh-khnum and Khnum-hotep kissing.

The best known case of possible homosexuality in ancient Egypt is that of the two high officials Nyankh-Khnum and Khnum-hotep. Both men lived and served under pharaoh Niuserre during the 5th Dynasty (c. 2494–2345 BC).[15] Nyankh-Khnum and Khnum-hotep each had families of their own with children and wives, but when they died their families apparently decided to bury them together in one and the same mastaba tomb. In this mastaba, several paintings depict both men embracing each other and touching their faces nose-on-nose. These depictions leave plenty of room for speculation, because in ancient Egypt the nose-on-nose touching normally represented a kiss.[15]

Egyptologists and historians disagree about how to interpret the paintings of Nyankh-khnum and Khnum-hotep. Some scholars believe that the paintings reflect an example of homosexuality between two married men and prove that the ancient Egyptians accepted same-sex relationships.[17] Other scholars disagree and interpret the scenes as an evidence that Nyankh-khnum and Khnum-hotep were twins, even possibly conjoined twins. No matter what interpretation is correct, the paintings show at the very least that Nyankh-khnum and Khnum-hotep must have been very close to each other in life as in death.[15]

The Roman Emperor Constantine in the 4th century AD is said to have exterminated a large number of "effeminate priests" based in Alexandria.[6]

Modern history[edit]

North Africa[edit]

North Africa contained some of the most visible and well-documented traditions of homosexuality in the world - particularly during the period of Mamluk rule. Arabic poetry emerging from cosmopolitan and literate societies frequently described the pleasures of pederastic relationships. There are accounts of Christian boys being sent from Europe to become sex workers in Egypt. In Cairo, cross-dressing men called "khawal" would entertain audiences with song and dance (potentially of pre-Islamic origin).[6]

The Siwa Oasis in Egypt was described by several early twentieth century travellers as a place where same-sex sexual relationships were quite common. A group of warriors in this area were known for paying reverse dowries to younger men; a practice that was outlawed in the 1940s.[6]

Siegfried Frederick Nadel wrote about the Nuba tribes in Sudan the late 1930s.[18] He noted that among the Otoro, a special transvestitic role existed whereby men dressed and lived as women. Transvestitic homosexuality also existed amongst the Moru, Nyima, and Tira people, and reported marriages of Korongo londo and Mesakin tubele for the bride price of one goat. In the Korongo and Mesakin tribes, Nadel reported a common reluctance among men to abandon the pleasure of all-male camp life for the fetters of permanent settlement.

East Africa[edit]

Gender-nonconforming and homosexuality has been reported in a number of East African societies. In pre-colonial East Africa there have been examples of male priests in traditional religions dressing as women. British Social anthropologist Rodney Needham has described such a religious leadership role called "mugawe" among the Meru people and Kikuyu people of Kenya which included wearing women's clothes and hairstyle.[19] Mugawe are frequently homosexual, and sometimes are formally married to a man.

Such men were known as "ikihindu" among the Hutu and Tutsi peoples of Burundi and Rwanda. A similar role is played by some men within the Swahili-speaking Mashoga—who often take on women's names and cook and clean for their husbands.[6]

Swedish anthropologist Felix Bryk reported active (i.e., insertive) Kikuyu pederasts called onek, and also mentioned "homo-erotic bachelors" among the pastoralist Nandi and Maragoli (Wanga). The Nandi as well as the Maasai would sometimes cross-dress as women during initiation ceremonies.

Among the Maale people of southern Ethiopia, historian Donald Donham documented "a small minority [of men] crossed over to feminine roles. Called "ashtime", these (biological) males dressed like women, performed female tasks, cared for their own houses, and apparently had sexual relations with men,". They were also protected by the king.

In Uganda, religious roles for cross-dressing men (homosexual priests) were historically found among the Bunyoro people. Similarly, the kingdom of Buganda (part of modern-day Uganda) institutionalised certain forms of same-sex relations. Young men served in the royal courts and provided sexual services for visitors and elites. King Mwanga II of Buganda had several such men executed when they converted to Christianity and refused to carry out their assigned duties (the "Uganda Martyrs".[6][20] The Teso people of Uganda also have a category of men who dress as women.

West Africa[edit]

In West Africa there is extensive historical evidence of homosexuality. In the 18th and 19th century Asante courts (modern day Ghana) male slaves served as concubines. They dressed like women and were killed when their master died. In the kingdom of Dahomey, eunuchs were known as royal wives and played an important part at court.

The Dagaaba people, who lived in Burkina Faso believed that homosexual men were able to mediate between the spirit and human worlds.

Southern Africa[edit]

Writing in the 19th century about the area of today's southwestern Zimbabwe, David Livingstone asserted that the monopolization of women by elderly chiefs was essentially responsible for the "immorality" practised by younger men.[21] Edwin W. Smith and A. Murray Dale mention one Ila-speaking man who dressed as a woman, did women's work, lived and slept among, but not with, women. The Ila label "mwaami" they translated as "prophet". They also mentioned that pederasty was not rare, "but was considered dangerous because of the risk that the boy will become pregnant".[22]

Marc Epprecht's review of 250 court cases from 1892 to 1923 found cases from the beginnings of the records. The five 1892 cases all involved black Africans. A defense offered was that "sodomy" was part of local "custom". In one case a chief was summoned to testify about customary penalties and reported that the penalty was a fine of one cow, which was less than the penalty for adultery. Over the entire period, Epprecht found the balance of black and white defendants proportional to that in the population. He notes, however, only what came to the attention of the courts—most consensual relations in private did not necessarily provoke notice. Some cases were brought by partners who had been dropped or who had not received promised compensation from their former sexual partner. And although the norm was for the younger male to lie supine and not show any enjoyment, let alone expect any sexual mutuality, Epprecht found a case in which a pair of black males had stopped their sexual relationship out of fear of pregnancy, but one wanted to resume taking turns penetrating each other.[22]

Same-sex sexual activity legal
  Same-sex marriage
  No recognition of same-sex couples
Same-sex sexual activity illegal
  Not Enforced or unclear
  Penalty
  Life in prison
  Death penalty

Legislation by country or territory

This table:

Northern Africa[edit]

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB people allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Algeria Algeria No Illegal since 1966
Penalty: Fine and up to 2 years imprisonment.[1][23]
No No No No No No
Canary Islands Canary Islands
(Autonomous community of Spain)
Yes Legal since 1979
+ UN decl. sign.[1]
Yes De facto unions legal since 2003[24] Yes Legal since 2005[25] Yes Legal since 2005[26][27] Yes Spain responsible for defence Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[28] Yes Since 2007, all documents can be amended to the recognised gender[29]
Ceuta Ceuta
(Autonomous city of Spain)
Yes Legal since 1979
+ UN decl. sign.[1]
Yes De facto union since 1998[30] Yes Legal since 2005[31] Yes Legal since 2005[32] Yes Spain responsible for defence Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[33] Yes Since 2007, all documents can be amended to the recognised gender[29]
Egypt Egypt No Male de jure legal, but de facto illegal since 2000
Penalty: Up to 17 years imprisonment with or without hard labour and with or without fines under broadly-written morality laws.[1][34]
No No No No No No
Libya Libya No De facto: illegal: Islamic Sharia Law is applied

De jure: Not specifically outlawed
Penalty: Up to 4 years in jail or death[35][36]

No No No No No No
Madeira Madeira
(Autonomous region of Portugal)
Yes Legal since 1983
+ UN decl. sign.[1]
Yes De facto union since 2001[37][38] Yes Legal since 2010[39] Yes Legal since 2016[40][41][42] Yes Portugal responsible for defence Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[28] Yes Since 2011, all documents can be amended to the recognised gender[43]
Melilla Melilla
(Autonomous city of Spain)
Yes Legal since 1979
+ UN decl. sign.[1]
Yes De facto union since 2008[44] Yes Legal since 2005[31] Yes Legal since 2005[32] Yes Spain responsible for defence Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[33] Yes Since 2007, all documents can be amended to the recognised gender[29]
Morocco Morocco
(including Southern Provinces)
No Illegal since 1962
Penalty: Up to 3 years imprisonment.[1][45]
No No No No No No
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
(Disputed territory; excluding Southern Provinces)
No Illegal since 1944 (as part of the Overseas Province of Spanish Sahara)
Penalty: Up to 3 years imprisonment.[1][46][47]
No No No No No No
South Sudan South Sudan No Illegal since 1899 (as Anglo-Egyptian Sudan)
Penalty: Up to 10 years imprisonment.[1][23]
No No Constitutional ban since 2011[citation needed] No No No No
Sudan Sudan No No Illegal since 1899 (as Anglo-Egyptian Sudan)
Penalty: Death penalty on third offense for men and on fourth offense for women.[1]
No No No No No No
Tunisia Tunisia No Illegal since 1913 (as the French protectorate of Tunisia)
Penalty: 3 years imprisonment.[1][48]
Legalization proposed[49]
No No No No No No

Western Africa[edit]

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB people allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Benin Benin Yes Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country);[1][50]
Age of consent discrepancy[1]
No No No No No No
Burkina Faso Burkina Faso Yes Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)[1] No No Constitutional ban since 1991 No No No No
Cape Verde Cape Verde Yes Legal since 2004
+ UN decl. sign.[1]
No No No No Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination[1] No
The Gambia Gambia No Illegal since 1888 (as the Gambia Colony and Protectorate)
Penalty: Up to Iife imprisonment.[1][51][23]
No No No No No No
Ghana Ghana No Male illegal since 1860s (as the Gold Coast)
Penalty: 10 years imprisonment or more.
Yes Female always legal[1][52][23]
No No No No No No
Guinea Guinea No Illegal since 1988
Penalty: 6 months to 3 years imprisonment.[1]
No No No No No No
Guinea-Bissau Guinea-Bissau Yes Legal since 1993[1]
+ UN decl. sign.
No No No No No No
Ivory Coast Ivory Coast Yes Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country);
Age of consent discrepancy[1]
No No No No No No
Liberia Liberia No Illegal since 1976
Penalty: 1 year imprisonment.[1][53]
No No No No No No
Mali Mali Yes Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)[1] No No No No No No
Mauritania Mauritania No Illegal: Islamic Sharia Law is applied
Penalty: Capital punishment for men, (not enforced); prison and a fine for women.[1][54]
No No No No No No
Niger Niger Yes Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country);
Age of consent discrepancy[1]
No No No No No No
Nigeria Nigeria No Illegal under federal law since 1901 (as the Northern Nigeria Protectorate and the Southern Nigeria Protectorate)
Penalty: Up to 14 years imprisonment.
No Death in the states of Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara.[1][55][23]
No No No No No No
Saint Helena Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
(Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom)
Yes Legal since 2001
+ UN decl. sign.[1]
Yes Legal since 2017 Yes Legal since 2017[56][57] Yes Legal since 2017 Yes UK responsible for defence Yes Bans all anti-gay on discrimination Emblem-question.svg
Senegal Senegal No Illegal since 1966
Penalty: 1 to 5 years imprisonment.[1][58]
No No No No No No
Sierra Leone Sierra Leone No Male illegal since 1861 (as the Sierra Leone Colony and Protectorate)
Penalty: Up to life imprisonment (Not enforced).
Yes Female always legal
+ UN decl. sign.[1]
No No No No No No
Togo Togo No Illegal since 1884 (as Togoland)
Penalty: Fine and 3 years imprisonment.[1][23]
No No No No No No

Central Africa[edit]

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB people allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Cameroon Cameroon No Illegal since 1972
Penalty: Fines to 5 years imprisonment.[1][23]
No No No No No No
Central African Republic Central African Republic Yes Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)
+ UN decl. sign.[1]
No No Constitutional ban since 2016[59] No No No No
Chad Chad No Illegal since 2017
Penalty: 3 months to 2 years imprisonment.
No No No No No No
Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo Yes Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)[1] No No Constitutional ban since 2005 No No No No
Republic of the Congo Republic of the Congo Yes Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country);
Age of consent discrepancy[1]
No No No No No No
Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea Yes Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)[1] No No No No No No
Gabon Gabon Yes Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)
+ UN decl. sign.
No No No No No No
São Tomé and Príncipe São Tomé and Príncipe Yes Legal since 2012
+ UN decl. sign.[1]
No No No No No No

Southeast Africa[edit]

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB people allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Burundi Burundi No Illegal since 2009
Penalty: fine, and 3 months to 2 years imprisonment.[1][60]
No No Constitutional ban since 2005 No No No No
Kenya Kenya No Illegal since 1897 (as the East Africa Protectorate)
Penalty: up to 14 years imprisonment.[1][23]
No No Constitutional ban since 2010[61] No No No No
Rwanda Rwanda Yes Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)[1]
+ UN decl. sign.
No No Constitutional ban since 2003 No No No No
Tanzania Tanzania No Illegal since 1864 (only Zanzibar)
Illegal since 1899
Penalty: Up to life imprisonment.[1][23]
No No No No No No
Uganda Uganda No Male illegal since 1894
Female illegal since 2000 Penalty: Life imprisonment. Beatings, torture, or vigilante execution are also common.[62]
No No Constitutional ban since 2005 No No No No

Horn of Africa[edit]

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB people allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Djibouti Djibouti Yes Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)[1] No No No No No No
Eritrea Eritrea No Illegal
Penalty: Up to 3 years imprisonment.[1][63]
No No No No No No
Ethiopia Ethiopia No Illegal
Penalty: Up to 15 years.[1]
No No No No No No
Somalia Somalia No Illegal
Penalty: Up to death.[64]
No No No No No No
Somaliland Somaliland
(Disputed territory)
No Illegal
Penalty: Up to death.[64]
No No No No No No

Indian Ocean states[edit]

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB people allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Comoros Comoros No Illegal
Penalty: 5 years imprisonment and fines.[1][65]
No No No No No No
French Southern and Antarctic Lands French Southern and Antarctic Lands
(Overseas territory of France)
Yes Legal
(No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the territory)[1]
Yes Civil solidarity pact since 1999 Yes Legal since 2013 Yes Legal since 2013 Yes France responsible for defence Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination Yes Under French law
Madagascar Madagascar Yes Legal
(No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country);
Age of consent discrepancy[1]
No No No No No No
Mauritius Mauritius No Male illegal
Penalty: Up to 5 years imprisonment.
Yes Female always legal[66]
+ UN decl. sign.[1][67]
No No No No Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[68][69] No
Mayotte Mayotte
(Overseas region of France)
Yes Legal
(No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the region)[1]
Yes Civil solidarity pact since 1999 Yes Legal since 2013 Yes Legal since 2013 Yes France responsible for defence Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination Yes Under French law
Réunion Réunion
(Overseas region of France)
Yes Legal since 1791[1] Yes Civil solidarity pact since 1999 Yes Legal since 2013 Yes Legal since 2013 Yes France responsible for defence Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination Yes Under French law
Seychelles Seychelles Yes Legal since 2016[70]
+ UN decl. sign.
No No No No Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination[1] No

Southern Africa[edit]

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB people allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Angola Angola Yes Legal since 2019 (presidential signature pending)[71] No No No No Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[72] Emblem-question.svg May possibly change gender under the Código do Registro Civil 2015[73]
Botswana Botswana No Legal since 2019 [74] No No No No Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination Yes Legal gender change recognized as a constitutional right since 2017[75]
Eswatini Eswatini No Male illegal since the 1880s
Yes Female always legal[1][23]
No No No No No No
Lesotho Lesotho Yes Male legal since 2012
Female always legal[1]
No No No No No Emblem-question.svg May possibly change gender under the National Identity Cards Act 9 of 2011[76]
Malawi Malawi No Illegal since 1891 (as British Central Africa Protectorate)[77]
Penalty: Up to 14 years imprisonment, with or without corporal punishment for men
up to 5 years imprisonment for women (rarely enforced; suspending moratoruim legality disputed)[1][78][23]
No No No No No No
Mozambique Mozambique Yes Legal since 2015[79][80] No No No No Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination[1][68] No
Namibia Namibia No Male illegal since 1920 (not enforced; repeal proposed)[23][81]
Yes Female always legal[1][82][83]
No No No No No Yes Under the Births, Marriages and Deaths Registration Act 81 of 1963[84]
South Africa South Africa Yes Male legal since 1998
Female always legal
+ UN decl. sign.[1]
Yes Limited recognition of unregistered partnerships since 1998; same-sex marriage since 2006 Yes Legal since 2006 Yes Legal since 2002 Yes Since 1998 Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination Yes Anti-discrimination laws are interpreted to include gender identity; legal gender may be changed after surgical or medical treatment
Zambia Zambia No Illegal since 1911 (as part of the British South Africa Company rule of Rhodesia)
Penalty: up to 14 years imprisonment.[1][23]
No No No No No No
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe No Male illegal since 1891 (as part of the British South Africa Company rule of Rhodesia)
Yes Female legal[1][23]
No No Constitutional ban since 2013 No No No No


Views of African leaders on homosexuality[edit]

The former president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, has been uncompromising in his opposition to LGBT rights in Zimbabwe. In September 1995, Zimbabwe's parliament introduced legislation banning homosexual acts.[85] In 1997, a court found Canaan Banana, Mugabe's predecessor and the first President of Zimbabwe, guilty of 11 counts of sodomy and indecent assault.[86] He has previously referred to LGBT people as being "worse than dogs and pigs".[87]

In the Gambia, former President Yahya Jammeh led the call for legislation that would set laws against homosexuals that would be "stricter than those in Iran", and that he would "cut off the head" of any gay or lesbian person discovered in the country.[88] News reports indicated his government intended to execute all homosexuals in the country.[88] In the speech given in Tallinding, Jammeh gave a "final ultimatum" to any gays or lesbians in the Gambia to leave the country.[88] In a speech to the United Nations on 27 September 2013, Jammeh said that "[h]omosexuality in all its forms and manifestations which, though very evil, antihuman as well as anti-Allah, is being promoted as a human right by some powers", and that those who do so "want to put an end to human existence".[89] In 2014, Jammeh called homosexuals "vermins" by saying that "We will fight these vermins called homosexuals or gays the same way we are fighting malaria-causing mosquitoes, if not more aggressively". He also went on to disparage LGBT people by saying that "As far as I am concerned, LGBT can only stand for Leprosy, Gonorrhoea, Bacteria and Tuberculosis; all of which are detrimental to human existence".[90][91] In 2015, in defiance of western criticism Jammeh intensified his anti-gay rhetoric, telling a crowd during an agricultural tour: "If you do it [in the Gambia] I will slit your throat—if you are a man and want to marry another man in this country and we catch you, no one will ever set eyes on you again, and no white person can do anything about it."[92]

In Uganda there have been recent efforts to institute the death penalty for homosexuality.[93][94] British newspaper The Guardian reported that President Yoweri Museveni "appeared to add his backing" to the legislative effort by, among other things, claiming "European homosexuals are recruiting in Africa", and saying gay relationships were against God's will.[95]

Abune Paulos, the late Patriarch of the ancient Ethiopian Orthodox Church, which has a very strong influence in Christian Ethiopia, stated homosexuality is an animal-like behaviour that must be punished.

Chad in 2017 passed a law criminalising sodomy, which had previously been legal. Conversely, some African states like Lesotho, São Tomé and Príncipe, Mozambique, the Seychelles, Angola, and Botswana have abolished sodomy laws in recent years. Legalisation is proposed in Mauritius, Tunisia, and Namibia.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

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