November 17, 2014 – Reported by the Advocate.com – Months after Uganda’s Constitutional Court overturned its Anti-Homosexuality Act, which prescribed life in prison for many instances of gay sex, nearly identical legislation returned — this time in the Gambia.
In October, Chad took up a sweeping bill that calls for 20-year prison sentences for those percieved to be LGBT.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to institutionalized hatred for lesbians, gays, bisexual, and transgender people in Africa.
Human rights groups are demanding that Chadian president Idriss Déby scrap plans to enact a draconian antigay law that would jail people for up to 20 years because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
“If this homophobic bill becomes law, President Déby will be blatantly disregarding the country’s international and regional human rights obligations,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s secretary-general, in a statement last month. “He will deny people their right to privacy, will institutionalize discrimination and enable the stigmatization, harassment and policing of people who are, or are perceived to be, gay — regardless of their sexual behavior.”
Amnesty reports the Chadian penal code, approved in September by the country’s executive cabinet, proposes the criminalization of same-sex sexual conduct, suggesting 15- to 20-year jail sentences and fines up to $1,000 for those found “guilty.” Amnesty warns that the bill is so broadly written that it could see citizens jailed for unsubstantiated rumors, or for simply failing to adhere to societal gender norms. The bill now sits before Chad’s parliament, which may well approve the legislation…