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Thursday, 8 July 2010

Pan-Africa ILGA publishes a map on LGBTI rights in Africa

Source: Gay Kenya

The map was launched together with the 4th edition of the State-Sponsored Homophobia published by ILGA, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association. The report is a collection of legislation criminalising consensual sexual acts between persons of the same sex in private over the age of consent.

Laws relating to such acts in public, with under aged persons, by force or by any other reason are not included. Nor does it include countries where such acts are legal.
ILGA is a world-wide network of national and local groups, with more than 700 member organizations from every continent and representing 110 countries, dedicated to achieving equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people, wants to name and shame the States which at the end of the first decade of the 21st century still treat their LGBTI citizens like lesser persons, unworthy of consideration. The unworthiness rests entirely on these States, for theirs is the shame of depriving a significant number of their citizens of dignity, respect and the enjoyment of equal rights.

38 countries still criminalize same-sex relationships between consenting adults in Africa, four with death penalty. Pan-Africa ILGA is the African region of ILGA. Pan-Africa ILGA counts with 64 members groups in the region.

Linda RM Baumann, Co-Secretary General, Pan-Africa ILGA said:
"Thirty-eight countries in Africa have laws criminalizing homosexuality, some with death penalty, and many more with harsh jail sentences. By far, it’s the continent with the worst laws on the books when it comes to homosexuality and other sexual minorities, a phenomenon which is in part rooted in bad colonial-era laws and political situations, religious autonomy, strong negative belief in cultural and family values, and the evil of patriarchy.”

Rev Rowland Jide Macaulay, Co-Secretary General, Pan-Africa ILGA said:
“The struggle against HIV/AIDS is also undermined by criminalization of same sex relationship. The Human Rights Committee has noted that laws criminalizing homosexuality “run counter to the implementation of effective education programmes in respect of HIV/AIDS prevention” by driving marginalized communities underground. Some homosexuals respond to stigmatization by moving away from their countries, communities, families; others build supportive networks outside their communities; while others struggle to keep it a secret by pretending to be heterosexual”

For more information on State Sponsored Homophobia and legislations affecting LGBTI people, ILGA and Pan-Africa ILGA activities around the world and at the United Nations, please contact Steave Nemande, Regional Coordinator for Pan Africa ILGA: steavenemande@ilga.org
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