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Africa LGBT rights and marriage equality news

 

African Country Legalizes Homosexuality

Saturday, May 30th, 2015

Mozambique - Google MapsGay sex will officially be legal in Mozambique from 29 June. The southern African nation will officially be added to the list of countries with no law against same-sex relations, 180 days after the government agreed to the revised Penal Code.

Legislators specifically revised the penal code that allowed ‘security measures’ to be taken against people ‘who habitually engage in vices against nature’. This was used to discriminate against and prosecute LGBTI people that could have sent them to a workhouse for up to three years.

But as this was done rarely it was considered by many to be a meaningless clause in the statute books. Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique has said: ‘The new Penal Code sweeps away a great deal of the musty colonial legacy, including the mention of “vices against nature”. ‘Now not even the most contorted of arguments could claim that acts of gay sex between consenting adults are somehow illegal.’

Authored By Joe Morgan – See the Full Story at Gay Star News

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Gambian President Signs Bill to Lock up Gays for Life

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Gambia - Apple MapsAfrica took another huge step backwards on LGBT rights this week.

Pink News reports:

The president of Gambia has signed into law a bill which calls for life imprisonment for people caught having gay sex. The law was passed by the National Assembly in September, and amends the criminal code to bring life sentences for “aggravated homosexuality.” The Associated Press reports that a draft bill contains identical language to Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act, which was signed into law earlier this year.

I guess it’s easier to scapegoat the LGBT community than to deal with the real problems afflicting your country.

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Gambia Anti Gay Bill Passes – Life Sentences for Gays

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Gambia - Apple MapsFollowing in the footsteps of other African nations, Gambia is just past an extreme anti-gay bill.

Joe.My.God reports:

Gambia’s National Assembly has passed a bill imposing life imprisonment for some homosexual acts, officials said Monday, potentially worsening the climate for sexual minorities in a country with one of Africa’s most vocal anti-gay leaders. The bill amending the criminal code was passed last month and brings life sentences for “aggravated homosexuality,” minority leader Samba Jallow told The Associated Press. That is a charge leveled at repeat offenders and people living with HIV/AIDS. Jallow said that while his National Reconciliation Party did not condone homosexuality, he voted against the bill along with one other lawmaker. “In our view, (homosexuals) did not commit a crime worthy of life imprisonment or any treasonable offense,” he said. Homosexual acts were already punishable by up to 14 years in prison under a Gambian law that was amended in 2005 to apply to women in addition to men. The bill now awaits approval by President Yahya Jammeh, an autocratic ruler who in 2008 instructed gays and lesbians to leave the country or risk having their heads cut off.

Another country cross of my travel list. My vacation possibilities in Africa are getting smaller and smaller.

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Six LGBT People Stoned to Death in Uganda

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Uganda - Google MapsSources are reporting that a mob stoned six LGBT individuals in a rural part of Uganda this last week.

Joe.My.God reports:

According to an as yet unconfirmed report, six LGBT persons have been stoned to death by a mob in rural Uganda. A seventh person was reportedly beaten to death. Via press release from the Safe Passage Fund: Over the past week, Ugandan activists have reported the horrific murders of six LGBT individuals in a rural zone of the country: three gay men, two lesbians and a transperson. They were killed by stoning. One who survived (still breathing after stoning) was burnt alive using kerosene/paraffin and a match box,” stated a witness and source to the Friends New Underground Railroad (FNUR), a Quaker solidarity initiative helping LGBT people in Uganda. A seventh gay man was reported to have been attacked by a mob and died a day later from head injuries.

There simply are no words for this kind of horrible brutality.

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Kenya Considers “Stone the Gays” Bill

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Kenya - Google Maps

From Google Maps

More bad news out of Africa as yet another country considers a draconian anti-gay bill.

Pink News reports:

A new Anti-Homosexuality Bill has been submitted by the Republican Liberty Party in the National Assembly. It would introduce harsh punishments for homosexuality, with life imprisonment or the death penalty for ‘aggravated homosexuality’.

The bill’s author, Edward Onwong’a Nyakeriga, said: “The petition aims at providing a comprehensive and enhanced legislation to protect the cherished culture of the people of Kenya, legal, religious and traditional family values against the attempts of sexual rights activists seeking to impose their values of sexual promiscuity on the people of Kenya.

It’s a scary thing to see people animated by such unjustified hatred toward gay people. Any US Pastors made the trip to Kenya recently? Interestingly, the article also notes that Polygamy is now legal in Kenya – for straights.

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Uganda: Court Strikes Down Anti Gay Law

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Uganda - Google Maps

from Google Maps

Big news out of Uganda – the country’s Constitutional Court just struck down the draconian anti gay law on a technicality.

Think Progress reports:

Uganda’s Constitutional Court, the country’s highest court, has struck down the infamous Anti-Homosexuality Law, ruling that Parliament passed it illegally. House Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, a proponent of the policy, ignored a quorum call before holding a vote last December with less than a third of lawmakers present. As one of the judges explained, “The illegal act of the Speaker tainted the process and rendered it a nullity.” The Court did not weigh the merits of the bill, which criminalized homosexuality and advocacy for gay rights with life sentences in prison.

So, basically, there’s nothing to stop them from passing it again the “right” way. But still…

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Malawi Suspends Enforcement Of Anti-Gay Laws

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

In response to a formal inquiry from the United Nations Human Rights Committee, Malawian Justice Minister Janet Chikaya-Banda has announced that the government of Malawi will cease enforcement of the nation’s laws against same-sex sexual relations while a court-ordered review of the country’s existing anti-gay laws is completed.

Pink News reports:

[Chikaya-Banda] said the review had stalled due to financial constraints, despite a ruling last autumn by the High Court to review the constitutionality of the laws.

This announcement does not, however, represent the first instance of such laws in Malawi being suspended. The enforcement of Malawi’s anti-gay laws had previously been halted for a brief period of time in November 2012 by the Justice Minister at the time, Ralph Kasambara. “If we continue arresting and prosecuting people based on the said laws and later such laws are found to be unconstitutional, it would be an embarrassment to government,” Kasambara told Reuters at the time.

This move was viewed at the time to be in line with Malawian President Joyce Banda’s May 2012 commitment to decriminalize consensual sexual relations between two people of the same sex, as well as the previous Justice Minister Ephraim Chiume’s December 2011 inclusion of the country’s anti-gay laws within a list of pieces of legislation he preferred to see reviewed, in a report issued the same week as then-US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s landmark address before the United Nations summit in Geneva on the subject of LGBT rights.

However, this decision was quickly reversed a few days later under intense pressure and lobbying from the Malawi Council of Churches, a group of 24 Protestant churches in Malawi. Upon issuing this reversal, Kasambara stated that he would rather see the national parliament settle the issue.

Homosexuality is currently illegal in Malawi under Section 153 and 156 of the nation’s Penal Code, which prohibit “unnatural offenses” and offenses against “public decency,” respectively. The order issued today by the current Justice Minister will act to halt enforcement of these provisions.

Anti-Gay Ugandan to Become President of United Nations Assembly

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

Sam KutesaThe rotating annual position is due to go to a man who claims most Africans abhor gays.

Pink News reports:

An anti-gay Ugandan politician is set to become the next head of the United Nations General Assembly, causing outrage among rights groups. Sam Kutesa serves as Ugandan Foreign Minister under President Museveni, who recently introduced a strict anti-gay law in the country, with heavy punishments for offenders. Kutesa, who previously claimed that the majority of Africans “abhor” homosexuality, will become President of the General Assembly next month without a single vote cast, having been selected by the African Union in a traditionally unchallenged appointment. The annually rotated position is “elected by acclamation”, with incumbent John William Ashe selected last year by the UN’s Latin American and Caribbean Group.

It’s disgusting that someone with such a terrible civil rights track record would be chosen to lead the UN Assembly.

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I Declare This Mount Gay!

Friday, April 25th, 2014

GottliebMountain-1

A mountaineer climbed Uganda’s highest peak to plant a rainbow flag.

Joe.My.God reports:

Mountaineer Neil Gottlieb climbed to the summit of Uganda’s tallest mountain, posted a rainbow flag, and claimed the peak in the name of gay rights. He then issued an open letter to President Yoweri Museveni: On April 16, 2014, after a 6-day climb, I summited your country’s tallest peak, Mount Stanley’s 16,753 foot tall Margherita Peak, and mounted a gay pride flag at its summit in protest of your country’s criminalization of homosexuality. Your country’s highest point is no longer its soil, its snow or a summit marker, but rather a gay pride flag waving brilliantly, shining down from above as a sign of protest and hope behalf of the many thousands of Ugandans that you seek to repress and the many more that understand the hideous nature of your repressive legislation.

You gotta love this story – a little gay island in the heart of Uganda.

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Ethiopia: Anti Gay Rally and Bill Dropped

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Ethiopia via Apple Maps

Apple Maps

Ethiopia will not get more gay-hatey. At least not right now.

O-blog-dee-o-blog-da reports:

The AP is reporting plans to hold a mass anti-gay rally in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, have been cancelled. The two religious groups planning the rally announced last week it would be held on April 26th… Today, Negash said the cancellation is the result of people inside the church asking the government to prevent the rally. Currently, same-sex acts are punishable by up to 15 years in prison or 25 years if convicted of infecting another person with HIV during same-sex acts in the country.

It’s nice to see at least one African country pausing before taking an anti-gay step.

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