Saturday, September 09, 2006

Are you now, or have you ever been, a homosexual? (pt. 2)

Sexual McCarthyism is alive and well in many parts of Africa. Sure, homosexual acts are banned in most African countries but it's more than that. After all, private sexual acts between consenting, unrelated adults of the same gender were illegal in some parts of the US until only a few years ago. In some African countries, things are much worse for gays and lesbians.

Nigeria's government, supposedly led by one of Africa's statesmen, is actually trying to ban free speech for gay rights activists. Zimbabwe's dictator Robert Mugabe and former Namibian president Sam Nujoma have angrily compared gays to pigs and dogs; both are former leaders of 'liberation' movements.

Earlier this year, Cameroon launched a gay witchhunt by publishing the names of alleged homosexuals.

A few days ago, a Ugandan paper has done the same thing. This is a troubling devlopment in a country run by a strongman who's also used vitriolic language to regularly denounce homosexual men and women.

"For years, President Yoweri Museveni's government routinely threatens and vilifies lesbians and gays, and subjects sexual rights activists to harassment," said [Human Rights' Watch's] Jessica Stern.

When not confronted by official government harassment and state sponsored homophobia, many gays and lesbians in Africa are subject to violence and even death at the hands of 'vigilantes'.

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