QFF: Gays and Lesbians in Africa

  • 36 out of 59 African countries and partially recognised territories criminalize homosexuality.
  • 11 African countries are signatories to the United Nations Joint Declaration to Decriminalize Homosexuality.
  • Homosexuality is legal in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote D'ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo, Rwanda, Madagascar, and Mauritius among other countries.
  • South African and Cape Verde have laws banning discrimination on a sexual basis.
  • In South Sudan the jail term is up to 10 years while in Sudan and Mauritania, a sentence can result in death penalty.
  • Uganda and Sierra Leone have a life sentence on homosexuality but in Sierra Leone and Lesotho female homosexuality is not criminalized.

The Sudan Penal Code 1991, Chapter XV  Section 148 states that;

(1) Any man who inserts his penis or its equivalent into a woman's or a man's anus or permitted another man to insert his penis or its equivalent in his anus is said to have committed Sodomy. (2) (a) Whoever commits Sodomy shall be punished with flogging one hundred lashes and he shall also be liable to five years imprisonment.

(b) If the offender is convicted for the second time he shall be punished with flogging one hundred lashes and imprisonment for a term which may not exceed five years.

(c) If the offender is convicted for the third time he shall be punished with death or life imprisonment.

  • In May 2010, the late Malawian President, Bingu wa Mutharika pardoned a gay couple who had been sentenced to 14 years imprisonment under the Malawi Penal Code Ch7.01 sections 153, 154, 156 &157.
  • South Africa's is the first country in the world whose Constitution explicitly prohibit unfair discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. Gay marriage has been legal since 1998. St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha allows openly gay people to serve in the Army. Transexuals can officially change sexuality.
  • Gays and lesbians have been described as mercenaries, sex starved sick people by Uganda President. In Zimbabwe the President has stated that gay people are “worse than pigs.” In a speech at the 68th UN General Assembly, September 2013, Yahya Jammeh, President of Gambia stated that, promoting homosexuality is putting an end to human existence.

Here is what other people think;

There are 21 varieties of African homosexuality.

In Morocco the notion of gays is “paradocial and illusive” in practice despite being outrightly unwelcome both traditionally and religiously.

More information can be found on this interactive map