There are signs of hope for LGBT rights in Africa

Africa - BannerLast month during President Obama’s first state visit to Kenya, he declared his fearless and unwavering support of LGBT rights at a globally observed press conference in Nairobi. His message has brought this issue to the forefront of public discussion, and means that, despite President Kenyatta’s dismissals, the persecution of LGBT people in Kenya can no longer be brushed aside as a “non-issue”. Still today in 2015, there are 78 jurisdictions across the world that criminalise homosexuality; 34 of those are in Africa – over sixty per cent of the total of 54 independent African states. Most of these criminal laws were exports of British colonialism, but in many instances they have taken on a new life, inflamed by religious bigotry, political scapegoating and Western evangelical organisations. Under the Kenyan Penal Code same-sex sexual conduct between consenting adults constitutes a criminal offence, punishable by up to fourteen years in prison. Yet against this backdrop of a seemingly insurmountable challenge there are glimmers of hope. Local LGBT advocacy groups have had their right to freely associate upheld in court decisions in Kenya and Botswana, and homosexuality was decriminalised through legislative reform in Mozambique in June of this year.

Source: There are signs of hope for LGBT rights in Africa

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