Just after reading that the anti-gay bill was slowly making its way again in Uganda, it seems another African country has decided to go down that road. The Gambia, the smallest continental African country known for its beautiful beaches, friendly people and infamous autocratic ruler Yahya Jammeh (of the ridiculous HIV cure) has passed a law that metes out life sentences for aggravated homosexuality – meaning having sex with someone who has been drugged, a minor (below 18 years), or with an IQ below normal. Currently gay sex in the country is punishable by a five to seven-year jail sentence. While The Gambian President is yet to sign it, I have little doubt that he will, after all this is a man who said on national television recently that : “We will fight these vermins called homosexuals or gays the same way we are fighting malaria-causing mosquitoes, if not more aggressively.” It’s quite interesting that The Gambia does deal out such sentences to men who sleep with underage girls or marry them. According to UNICEF, about 46.5% of girls are married before 18.
I’m not sure what this country plans to achieve with this new law. I’m not sure of the benefit to their president, seeing as he doesn’t have any major political opponents. If it’s to satisfy the Gambian people, I’m certain there other ways to do that besides attempting to control what some adults choose to do in their private lives with other consenting adults.
I keep wondering what I can do as an African gay man to stem this tide of hate.
September 9, 2014 at 10:31 am
Do you think he was influenced by the same extremist evangelicals behind the other homophobic hatred bills in other countries?
September 9, 2014 at 5:14 pm
I thought about it but I’m not sure how likely that is, seeing as he’s Muslim. But you never know, especially as the evangelists claimed gay people ruined young people and like not and the need to protect young people is important to everyone. But The Gambia is an Islamic country and Islamic law has strict punishments for homosexual acts so that could be another source of influence. Then again he may just be another homophobe but one with enough power to do what he wants.
September 9, 2014 at 10:51 pm
It wouldn’t surprise me at all that a U.S. based nut case like Scott Lively, so called evangelical, has had tea with Jammeh somewhere along the line. Plus, he has said, “We will therefore not accept any friendship, aid or any other gesture that is conditional on accepting Homosexuals or L.G.B.T. as they are now baptised by the powers that promote them. As far as I am concerned, L.G.B.T can only stand for Leprosy, Gonorrhoea, Bacteria and Tuberculosis; all of which are detrimental to human existence”.
September 15, 2014 at 6:57 am
You may be right..