First-ever Malawi Pride sees brave activists deliver demands to the president

Braving the threat of persecution, dozens of queer people packed the streets of the capital of Malawi for the country’s first-ever Pride parade Saturday (26 June). Organised by the Nyasa Rainbow Alliance, some 50 LGBT+ people marched through the streets of Lilongwe in a show of defiance. After an hour-long march through winding but silent… Read more »

Namibia Considers Ending Its Ban On Gay Sex

A colonial-era law that criminalizes sex between men could be on the chopping block in Namibia. According to Reuters, a reform commission has advised the government to abolish the law. Justice Minister Yvonne Dausab told Reuters that the law is “outdated and discriminatory.” “The LGBTQI community are human beings and we must not allow them… Read more »

Namibia Considers Ending Its Ban On Gay Sex

A colonial-era law that criminalizes sex between men could be on the chopping block in Namibia. According to Reuters, a reform commission has advised the government to abolish the law. Justice Minister Yvonne Dausab told Reuters that the law is “outdated and discriminatory.” “The LGBTQI community are human beings and we must not allow them… Read more »

Nigerian police raid suspected ‘gay party’ and drag ‘scores’ of men to anti-cult office

Police have reportedly raided a hotel in Anambra, Nigeria, where a group of “suspected gays” were having a party, following an anonymous tip-off. According to a local source who spoke to Nigerian publisher Punch Newspapers: “The gays were holding a party at the facility when trouble ensued, leading to the invitation of policemen from the… Read more »

The “Deviant” African Genders That Colonialism Condemned

European travellers and anthropologists found that their gendered worldview didn’t easily map onto the societies they encountered. In “pre-colonial times,” wrote the late feminist scholar Niara Sudarkasa, women in West Africa were “conspicuous in high places.” They led armies, often played important consultative roles in politics, and in the case of the Lovedu people (present-day… Read more »

‘Nowhere to go’: the young LGBT+ Ugandans ‘outed’ during lockdown

Student tells how he and others were arrested on Covid-related charges, publicly humiliated and left without a place to stay When you ask Ronald Ssenyonga, a 21-year-old Ugandan, to tell you about his arrest, he asks: “Which one?” Like many gay people struggling to survive in a country that has used Covid-19 as an excuse… Read more »

Judge throws out case of 47 Nigerian men accused of gay sex after prosecutors fail to even show up

A Nigerian judge threw out a case against 47 men accused of gay sex after the prosecutors failed to show up in court or call any witnesses. he high-profile case was widely seen as a test of the country’s same-sex marriage prohibition act (SSMPA), which punishes homosexual relationships by up to 14 years in prison.… Read more »

Dozens of students handed prison sentences for the alleged ‘crime’ of attending a ‘gay wedding’

A court in Algeria, where same-sex relations are illegal, has sentenced more than 40 people to prison for attending a “gay wedding”. On September 3, a court in the North African country sent two men immediately to prison and sentenced 42 other people to suspended prison sentences for being at a “gay wedding”, according to… Read more »

Mauritius defiantly celebrates Pride with a kaleidoscopic march and calls for an end to its colonial-era gay sex ban

Mauritius hosted a rare, kaleidoscopic LGBT+ Pride parade amid the COVID-19 pandemic, calling on lawmakers to decriminalise same-sex relations. The LGBT+ Pride event, which took place on Saturday (October 10), was organised by the Collectif Arc-en-Cieland. It saw more than 500 people march the streets in hopes of being heard, recognised and seen. Mauritius is… Read more »

How young, queer Nigerians use Twitter to shape identity and fight homophobia

Nigeria continues to be largely homophobic, mainly as a result of cultural and religious conventions. Negative perceptions of homosexuality led to the criminalisation of same-sex relations in 2014. The Nigerian environment is therefore toxic for LGBTI people. They become easy prey to oppressive and exploitative state security apparatus. They are also vulnerable to public “moral… Read more »

‘Gay People Have Always Existed In Africa – It”s Time For Us To Start Telling Our Stories’

Former pastor Edafe Okporo sheds more light on the little-known history of African queer culture. Despite the recent decriminalisation of homosexuality in countries like Gabon and Angola, it remains a sad fact that same-sex sexual relations remain illegal across more than half of the continent. Many of these antiquated laws were imposed on African nation… Read more »

‘Don’t come back, they’ll kill you for being gay’

For years Mohamed’s family tried to make him more like other boys – tougher, more “masculine”. They even sent him to have a female spirit driven out with hallucinogenic drugs. Eventually, writes Layla Mahmood, they decided to kill him. The heat enveloped 20-year-old Mohamed, as he zig-zagged through the alleyways of Hargeisa. It was around… Read more »

Sudan has dropped the death penalty as a punishment for gay sex. Queers will instead be thrown in prison for loving who they love

The African nation of Sudan has dropped flogging and the death penalty as punishments for gay sex – but queer people can still be thrown in prison under the country’s archaic laws. The law was amended to remove the death penalty and floggings for gay sex last week, according to LGBT+ rights organisation Bedayaa. The… Read more »

Lawmakers in the Central African country of Gabon just voted to decriminalise homosexuality

Lawmakers in the Central African country of Gabon just voted to decriminalise homosexuality, after making gay sex illegal just last year. In 2019, Gabon, on the west coast of Central Africa, criminalised same-sex relations with a penalty of up to six months in prison as well as a fine of 5 million CFA francs (£6,393).… Read more »

Zambian President Pardons Two Gay Men After Ousting US Ambassador

Zambian President Edgar Chagwa Lungu has released two gay men from prison months after he booted the US ambassador to Zambia in a diplomatic spat that centered on LGBTQ rights and international aid. Zambia’s president has pardoned two gay men whose arrests and 15-year sentences on anti-LGBTQ sodomy charges triggered diplomatic friction and culminated in… Read more »

Kenya’s Judges Uphold Laws That Criminalize Gay Sex

Kenya’s High Court has chosen to uphold colonial-era laws that criminalize gay sex, dashing the hopes of activists who believed the judges would overturn sections of the penal code as unconstitutional and inspire a sea change across the continent. Three judges said Friday that the laws in question did not target the LGBTQ community. They… Read more »

Opinion: ‘You can’t be a lesbian in Tanzania’

* Any views expressed in this opinion piece are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation. Tanzania’s president John Magufuli has been on a morality crusade, reinforcing discrimination against women and the LGBT+ community in particular Kiara Ethan is an activist at Eagle Wings Youth Initiative in Tanzania Being a lesbian in… Read more »

Homeless queer Ugandans brutally whipped by mayor before being falsely arrested under coronavirus laws

Shivering and scared, 23 LGBT+ people sat on the forecourt of a charity-run facility near Kampala, Uganda. A municipal mayor carries a four-foot cane as he paces in front of them before beginning to brutally whip and interrogate them, tying them up and marching them through the streets, locals jeering as they walk across the… Read more »

Queer refugees subjected to daily anti-LGBT+ violence say they were ‘teargassed and brutally assaulted’ by police while protesting their plight

A protest staged by embattled and exhausted LGBT+ refugees from a camp in Kakuma, Kenya ended in violence as police officers allegedly “teargassed, beat and brutally assaulted” demonstrators. Queer refugees donned rainbow face masks for a peaceful protest outside the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) office in the northwestern town. The group –… Read more »

Tunisia quashes LGBT report it recognized gay marriage

Tunisia’s president Kais Saied supports the criminalization of homosexuality. He has termed gay people “deviants” and favors Sharia law. He defends capital punishment. Berlin – The Republic of Tunisia has denied a report from the Tunisian LGBTQ organization Shams that the North African country recognized same-sex marriage, dashing hopes for marriage equality among gays and… Read more »

Tunisia just became the first Arab country to recognise same-sex marriage – but there’s a catch

The Republic of Tunisia has become the first Arab state to recognise a same-sex marriage, a Tunisian LGBT+ rights organisation has announced. According to Association Shams, a marriage settlement between a Frenchman, 31, and a Tunisian man, 26, was legally recognised in Tunisia for the first time on Friday. Homosexuality is illegal in the north… Read more »

Lesbians, Gays Live in Fear of Attacks in Kenyan Refugee Camp

Nairobi — Eva Nabagala hoped she and her young son would be safe from her family when they fled Uganda for a Kenyan refugee camp – but instead, the 28-year-old says she was attacked and raped there as punishment for being a lesbian. “I have been threatened with death, I have been beaten, I have… Read more »

Gay men abused in Morocco after photos spread online

Gay men are being harassed and abused in Morocco after photos taken from gay chat apps were circulated online. Photos spread after a social media influencer told her followers to make fake accounts on apps to see how common homosexuality is. Homosexuality is illegal in the conservative Muslim country, which is in lockdown because of… Read more »

Dozens of Gay Men Are Outed in Morocco as Photos Are Spread Online

The idea was to show the hypocrisy of Moroccan society by showing how many gay men are living quietly in straight society. It backfired badly. Paris — At least 50 to 100 gay men were outed in Morocco over the last two weeks, rights activists say, after the men were identified on location-based meeting apps… Read more »

After Beating the Odds, Tunisia’s Queer Festival Postponed Due to Coronavirus

The third edition of the Mawjoudin Queer Film Festival was supposed to open this weekend in Tunis. Islamic discourse has not managed to stifle LGBTQ activity in the country, but the coronavirus may have Tunisia has done it again. It has sprung surprises in the past and continues to do so now – from toppling… Read more »

Abolition of Angola’s anti-gay laws may pave the way for regional reform

Angola has decriminalised consensual same-sex acts between adults in private. An erstwhile Portuguese colony, Angola inherited an ancient colonial statute – dating back to 1886 – that criminalised “indecent acts” and persons habitually engaging in “acts against nature”. These formulations have widely been interpreted as a ban on homosexual conduct. Punishment upon conviction included confinement… Read more »

Tanzania governor who created task force to hunt gay people banned from entering US

A high-ranking official in Tanzania who created a task force to hunt down gay people has been banned from entering the US. Paul Makonda is the governor of Tanzania’s most-populated city, Dar es Salaam, and he created the team to round up gay people in 2018. He said he aimed to make Dar es Salaam… Read more »

Mauritania Arrests 10 Gay Men After Purported Gay Wedding

Nouakchott, Mauritania — Authorities in Mauritania have arrested 10 men after a video appeared on social media of a gay couple appearing to take part in a traditional wedding ceremony, human rights groups said. Police later determined the gathering was a birthday party but the men remain in custody with no trial date set yet.… Read more »

Lesbian couple left ‘overwhelmed with anger’ as South Africa venue declines their wedding

(CNN) – A South African wedding venue is facing criticism after the Christian owners declined to host a lesbian couple’s wedding. Megan Watling, 25, and Sasha-Lee Heekes, 24, said they contacted the owners of Beloftebos, a popular event place in Cape Town, inquiring about potential dates for their wedding. However, they received an email response… Read more »

Gay refugees in Kenya report repeated attacks from locals

At Kenya’s sprawling Kakuma refugee camp, one of the world’s largest, LGBTQ refugees say they’re repeatedly beaten by locals and other refugees. For years, Ugandan refugee Mbazira Moses has been typing out emails to dozens of international humanitarian organizations and United Nations officials with a message: LGBTQ refugees at the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya… Read more »

Zambia Wants U.S. Ambassador Out for Defending Gay Couple

Zambian President Edgar Lungu wants the U.S. ambassador to leave the country after the diplomat criticized the African state for sentencing a gay couple to 15 years behind bars for having a consensual relationship. “We have complained officially to the American government, and we are waiting for their response because we don’t want such people… Read more »

The central African country of Gabon just criminalised gay sex

An official has confirmed that the African country of Gabon has criminalised gay sex, making it the 70th country in the world where same-sex relations are illegal. Gabon, officially the Gabonese Republic, is on the west coast of central Africa. A government official, who wanted to remain anonymous, told Openly that the change was made… Read more »

First men go on trial under Nigeria’s anti-homosexuality laws

All 47 men deny offence of same-sex displays of affection, which carries 10-year jail term Forty-seven men went on trial in Nigeria on Wednesday for public displays of affection with members of the same sex, an offence that carries a 10-year jail term in the country. The men were among 57 arrested in a police… Read more »

Gay Couple In Zambia Gets 15-Year Prison Term; U.S. Ambassador Says He’s ‘Horrified’

A gay male couple has been sentenced to 15 years in prison under Zambia’s colonial-era law that prohibits gay sex. U.S. Ambassador Daniel Foote said in a statement that the was “horrified” by the sentence. “I was personally horrified to read yesterday about the sentencing of two men, who had a consensual relationship, which hurt… Read more »

Refile -Uganda charges 67 after raid on gay bar

Kampala (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A Ugandan court charged 67 people with causing a nuisance on Tuesday after they were arrested in a gay-friendly bar, in a move condemned by activists as the latest “homophobic” attack. The 67 – who were among 127 arrested at Ram Bar, in the capital, Kampala, on Sunday – could face… Read more »

Sacked, shunned and suicidal: the Cameroon sports stars battling anti-gay laws

  Yaounde (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Cameroonian athlete Thierry Essamba still trains every day, even though he has little hope of reviving a career cut off when he was ousted from the national squad in a scandal over homosexuality. The 38-year-old hurdling champion was training for the 2014 Commonwealth Games when a senior sports official… Read more »

Uganda Denies Plan To Reintroduce ‘Kill The Gays’ Bill

Uganda’s government has denied there is a plan to reintroduce the death penalty for gay sex. The government “does not have any plans of reintroducing the anti-homosexuality bill on the floor of Parliament,” Esther Mbayo, minister in charge of the presidency, said in a statement, the AP reported. Simon Lokodo, minister for ethics and integrity,… Read more »

Bisi Alimi Organises LGBT Event In Lagos

Nigerian gay rights activist Bisi Alimi has organised a Gay Pride event in Nigeria. The event tagged “Night of Diversity 2019” was organised by his foundation The Bisi Alimi Foundation. It held last night in Lagos, Tuesday 29th October. Alimi expressed such an event could hold in Nigeria took to his Instagram story to say:… Read more »

Uganda arrested 16 LGBTQ activists. Here’s where else gay rights are a battleground in the world.

This week Ugandan police arrested 16 LGBTQ activists on charges of gay sex — which is punishable by life imprisonment. Police arrested them at the sexual health organization where they worked and lived and cited condoms, lubricants and anti-HIV medicines found there as evidence of a crime.“Uganda is resisting doing that, despite the fact that… Read more »

Attacks on LGBT+ Ugandans seen rising after minister proposes death for gay sex

Nairobi (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Uganda has seen a rise in attacks on LGBT+ people since a minister proposed bringing back the death penalty for gay sex, campaigners said on Tuesday, warning anti-gay rhetoric was fuelling homophobia. The Ugandan government has since denied it is planning to reintroduce an old law colloquially known as “Kill… Read more »