Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights in Africa are very limited in comparison to many other areas of the world. South Africa and Cape Verde are the only two countries in Africa that uphold LGBT rights. Many developed countries have considered implementing laws that limit general budget support to African countries that restrict the rights of LGBT people. This, however, hasn’t stopped African countries to outlaw homosexuality. Let’s look at some of these countries.
Former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan signed the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act in 2014. As a consequence, raids on gay establishments have become a common sight in the country.
According to the Guardian, the police raid the establishments as an easy way to extort money from them.
In the majority of these cases the police extort funds from them, knowing that any court case will out their sexuality
For most of them, their single wish is to pay and get out, and the police use it against themDaniel Okoye,
The 1991 penal code guides Sudan in its efforts against same-sex relationships. The harsh penalties recommended by the code include life in prison and even death. Human Rights Watch says the “restrictions severely impede the ability of groups who work on LGBT issues to register as NGO’s.”
Egypt takes gay hostility to another level. The north African country relies on anal examinations in its anti-gay project. According to Reuters, a judicial source was quoted saying: “The examinations are carried out by a forensic doctor who swore to respect his profession and its ethics.”
A physician who spoke to NBC News states how difficult it is to be gay in Egypt. “If you’re out, you can be subjected to discrimination, abuse, being arrested, having forced physical examinations or being sentenced to time in jail.”
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It was a big blow to gay rights activists on 25th May 2019 when the High Court declined to decriminalize sections 162 and 165 of the Penal Code that made it illegal to have consensual same sex in Kenya. The judges said that declaring the sections illegal would open the door to unions of persons of the same sex, creating a conflict with article 45(2) of the Constitution; marriage is between a man and a woman.
This ruling has sparked outrage from the gay community, who face constant attacks, kidnappings, extortion and police harassment.
People found to be in same-sex relationships in Uganda can spend as much as seven years in prison, according to Amnesty International. The legislative framework for Uganda’s anti-gay mission is the Anti-Homosexuality Bill; which makes provision for sentences for homosexual sex and promoting sexuality.
This actually reminds me of the “Why are you gay” meme which has gone viral. While the interview was hilarious, it shows the worrying state of gay rights in the country.