African Countries Still Leading In Criminalizing Consensual Same-Sex Activities

24 Nov, 2018
Among the countries deemed unfriendly to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people, 34 are from Africa. A survey carried out by the Other Foundation, an African community trust that fights for human rights and social inclusion in South Africa, particularly focusing on LGBTI people, also pointed out 4 countries; Somalia, Sudan, Mauritania and some parts of Nigeria as punishing those found with the offense with a death penalty.

The foundation noted that the laws in these countries were largely legacies from their colonial times, which had enacted laws on “unnatural desire’’ and thus not the best laws.

Since late 2000, there has been an increase in levels of acceptance for LGBTI people and their rights have risen globally. It is the same case here in Africa, with more countries accepting and legalizing same-sex marriages. However, the continent still leads in criminalizing the acts.

Most of these countries criminalizing consensual same-sex activities are the ones with political warfare and insurgencies, and also characterized by long-held political and religious views that have kept the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people on mistreatment and unequal treatment in terms of law enforcement and justice.

Those pushing for the rejection of same-sex activities in these countries are religious organizations. The religious leaders in most of the churches are using the Bible to influence masses. They have also gained the support of politicians some of them being lawmakers.

In this continent where most of the third world countries are experiencing extreme poverty, economic imbalance, and hotly contested elections which are often marred with violence, the lawmakers are also using the opportunity to gain political mileage and popularity by supporting popular religious organizations and their values. This has given religious leaders chances to lobby for the conservative agenda, one of them being anti-gay policies. This type of lobbying is mostly common in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and most of the East and Central Africa nations.

Furthermore, the politicians are using conservative policies to continue their oppressive leadership once they have the support of the citizens. Example of such is Uganda, where the LGBTI rights have been suppressed for a long period of time.

In the recent past, a number of African leaders diverted their people’s attention by suggesting to them that the US visiting head of state had come to push for homosexuality and LGBTI rights which was not the case. It is ,thus, clear that the African leaders are the one who are against human rights; they only oppose some laws to control the people and divert their attention from the real problems.

LGBTI individuals in these African countries are subject to too much discrimination, some of the victims of such incidences will cite job and housing discrimination, prejudice, verbal abuses and also violence. Although there is a law to punish those perpetrating these abuses, those who are supposed to protect will not view them as human rights violations but will support the perpetrators, a good example being the Tanzanian police who have joined the hunt for those termed as homosexuals.

Globally, human relationship is understood to naturally include various sexual orientations and ,therefore, it is unlawful to discriminate against a person on the basis of their sexual identity. Human rights are said to be inalienable and indivisible rights due to everyone, irrespective of their orientations. Thus, we can all agree that these countries discriminating the LGBTI people are at great risk of violating human rights.

Don loves books, people and coffee| Sincere Review Writer| Just another good guy!


4 months ago

A great article! Keep em coming, bro.

Don N

4 months ago

Thanks AmericanBoy, stay tuned for more...and thanks again for the insight.