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Life Sentences For Aggravated Homosexuality in The Gambia

no gaysJust 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.

 

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Uganda: One Step Forward, Ninety-nine Steps Back

gay ugandaRecently, the President of Uganda was celebrated for choosing to back down over the proposed anti-gay law. However the jubilation was premature: he recently signed the infamous law into being. This law includes life imprisonment for some homosexual acts and prison sentences for people besides the couple who participate in same-sex marriages. Even worse: he apparently had overwhelming support from the country’s citizens who rejoice at a victory over western/unAfrican influences. True to Ugandan form, a local tabloid has come up with names of 200 gay men and women in Uganda although the paper’s online edition did not carry this story, according to CNN. . I am sad and disappointed. The hypocrisy of carrying a Bible/Qur’an yet opposing “western influences” seem to be lost on many Africans. I will admit that there is some high-handedness in the way some western aid organizations decide how aid money is spent (especially on projects that are not that big a priority) and in trade agreements that clearly do not favour the low and middle-income ones, homosexuality will never fall into that category. Rights are rights and seizing the rights of a minority when these rights do not in any way affect how the greater majority live their lives will never be the way forward. This is not even something that any African country should be told by anyone: this is something it should know. Where is the Ugandan Social Justice Department in all this? Incidentally their webpage is offline at the moment.

Enough said.

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2014 in Politik

 

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President Museveni Smashes Anti-Gay Bill in Uganda

yoweri_museveniAfter passing through the House, the terrible Ugandan anti-gay bill was swiftly shut down by President Yoweri Museveni, his reasons detailed in a 9-page letter to the Speaker of the House. While there are many that say that this is another African president bowing to Western pressure, I would rather see it as a  president who understands that there are these conditions called priorities which other presidents need to look at.

However his comments about homosexuality are worrisome as he referred to gay people as “abnormal” or “products of random breeding” in Western societies. So progressive may not be the right word really to describe him but I’m glad that at least the bill has been dropped and LGBT folk in Uganda can heave a huge sigh of relief for now. Read the rest of this story here on the BBC.

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2014 in Politik

 

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From The Nigerian Senate With Love – Anti-Gay Bill Ready For The President

nigeria-rainbowLast week, I posted about the a state in Nigeria imposing harsh sentences for LGBTs. Tom Janus of Queerlandia joked that if it were up to some staunch anti-gay legislators, this new change would be applied to all states.Well this humorous comment has unfortunately come true as the Nigerian Senate has applied all the necessary changes and have passed this bill to the President and they are pushing for him to sign it within the week although he has 30 days to do so. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2013 in Politik

 

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The Politricks of Homophobia – A Sermon For The Choir

ancient egyptI came across this article on African politics and homophobia via Identity Kenya which set out to find out why many African governments have such a strong anti-gay stance. Its major observation was that many politicians and government officials use homophobia as a tool to divert the attention of the masses away from the lack of support structures, the growing corruption and unstable economies. In other words homophobia has become a bunch of keys for distracting children(citizens) whilst their toys(money) are taken away from them. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2013 in Politik

 

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Fallout From A Gay Wedding

no boundariesLawrence Kaala and Jimmy Sserwadda, two Ugandan gentlemen got married last month in Sweden. They had been dating in Uganda until Sserwadda was outed then verbally and physically assaulted by government forces after which he sought asylum in Sweden. There he met up with his former lover Kaala who was in Sweden at the time, the two rekindled their relationship and the rest is history. They have been billed as the first Ugandan gay couple to be legally wed and have been making headlines worldwide. However Sserwadda’s mother has been verbally harassed by Ugandans who claim the two have brought “shame” on their people. Sserwadda also has a son in the university and he has been the victim of verbal assault from colleagues and other members of the community.  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2013 in Gay Heroes, Love is a Battlefield

 

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Choosing Not To Be Intimidated

You have to hand it to the gay Ugandans: they opened an LGBT-friendly health centre and had their first gay pride all in one year. This is in the midst of serious persecution that is sanctioned by the government. Gay people all over Africa have been weighing in and interestingly a lot of the comments I have heard are not supportive. Yes, it was a bold thing to do and it could (and did) get people arrested. Some blamed western governments for pushing the idea of pride and saying that celebrations of this kind are “not African”. Others said that presenting cross-dressers and people without any high standing in society presents the gay Ugandan in a bad light. If the gay men and women think this way then I wonder what straight people must be saying. I wish all of the naysayers would read Val Kalende’s article

No one will give you your freedom: you have to fight for it. The Stonewall Inn which was the site of the famous riot and lead to first ever gay pride was not an upscale club and its regular patrons certainly not high-income earners .

I’m really happy that people on this continent are not sitting on the fence but demanding for their rights, the same rights given to the rest of the population.

The Anonymous hack was just icing on the cake

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2012 in Politik

 

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