LGBT rights in Africa

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thumb|250px|Homosexuality legal Template:Legend Template:Legend Template:Legend Template:Legend Homosexuality illegal Template:Legend Template:Legend Template:Legend Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) rights in Africa are limited in comparison to other areas of the world, with the BBC estimating that homosexuality is outlawed in 38 African countries. In 13 nations homosexuality is either legal or there are no laws pertaining to it.[1]

In Mauritania, Sudan, and northern Nigeria, homosexuality can be punishable by death. In Uganda, offenders can gain a maximum of a life imprisonment for homosexual acts.

South Africa by far has the most liberal attitudes toward gays and lesbians, with a constitution which guarantees gay and lesbian rights, and legal same-sex marriage.


Legislation by country or territory


Northern Africa

LGBT rights in: Homosexual acts legal? Recognition of same-sex relationships Same-sex marriage Same-sex adoption Allows gays to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination (Sexual orientation) Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Algeria ✘ Illegal (Penalty: Fine - up to 2 years prison) Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Egypt ✘ Not specifically outlawed, but public morals laws are used against LGBT people according to AmnestyUSA , Prison up to 3 years ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ Unknown
Libya ✘ Illegal (Penalty: Fine - up to 5 years prison). Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown allowed allowed
Morocco (incl. Western Sahara) ✘ Illegal (Penalty: 6 months to 3 years) Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Sudan ✘ Illegal (Penalty: 5 years up to death penalty.) Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Tunisia ✘ Illegal (Penalty: Fine - 3 years) Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

Western Africa

LGBT rights in: Homosexual acts legal? Recognition of same-sex relationships Same-sex marriage Same-sex adoption Allows gays to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination (Sexual orientation) Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Benin ✔ Legal[2] ✘ ✘ Unknown Unknown ✘ Unknown
Burkina Faso ✘ Not specifically outlawed, but other laws apply.[3] Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Cape Verde ✔ Legal since 2004
+ UN decl. sign.
✘ ✘ Unknown Unknown ✘ Unknown
Côte d'Ivoire ✔ Legal ✘ ✘ Unknown Unknown ✘ Unknown
Gambia ✘ Illegal (Penalty: up to 14 years[4]) Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Ghana ✘ Male illegal
Female unclear
Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Guinea ✘ Illegal (Penalty: 6 months to 3 years prison) Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Guinea-Bissau ✔ Legal
+ UN decl. sign.
✘ ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Liberia ✘ Illegal (Penalty: Fine) Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Mali Not specifically prohibited, but public morals laws have been used against LGBT persons Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Mauritania ✘ Illegal (Penalty: Death penalty) Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Niger Not specifically prohibited, but public morals laws may be used Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Nigeria ✘ Male illegal
✘ Female illegal in areas under Sharia
(Penalties in Sharia areas: Up to death for men, and up to 50 lashes (caning) and six months for women.)
✔ Female legal in areas not under Sharia.
Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Senegal ✘ Illegal (Penalty: 1 month to 5 years prison) Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Sierra Leone ✘ Male illegal
Female needs verification
Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Togo ✘ Illegal Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

Middle Africa

LGBT rights in: Homosexual acts legal? Recognition of same-sex relationships Same-sex marriage Same-sex adoption Allows gays to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination (Sexual orientation) Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Angola ✘ Not specifically outlawed, other laws may apply[5] (Penalty: Labour camps for habitual offenders.[6]) Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Cameroon ✘ Illegal (Penalty: Fine to 5 years prison) Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Central African Republic ✔ Legal
+ UN decl. sign.
✘ ✘ Unknown Unknown ✘ Unknown
Chad ✔ Legal since 1967 ✘ ✘ Unknown Unknown ✘ Unknown
Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) ✔ Legal ✘ ✘ Constitutional ban since 2005 Unknown Unknown ✘ Unknown
Equatorial Guinea ✔ Legal [7] Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Gabon ✔ Legal
+ UN decl. sign.
✘ ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Republic of the Congo ✔ Legal ✘ ✘ Unknown Unknown ✘ Unknown
São Tomé and Príncipe ✘ Illegal + UN decl. sign. Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

Eastern Africa

LGBT rights in: Homosexual acts legal? Recognition of same-sex relationships Same-sex marriage Same-sex adoption Allows gays to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination (Sexual orientation) Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Burundi ✘ Illegal since 2009
(Penalty: 3 months to 2 years imprisonment and fine of 50,000 to 100,000 Burundian francs[8])
Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Comoros ✘ Acts "against nature" outlawed Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Djibouti ✘ Illegal (Penalty: 10-12 years) Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Eritrea ✘ Illegal (Penalty: 3-10 years) Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Ethiopia ✘ Illegal (Penalty: up to 5 years[9]) Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Kenya ✘ Male illegal (Penalty: up to 14 years)
✔ Female legal
Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Madagascar ✔ Legal ✘ ✘ Unknown Unknown ✘ Unknown
Malawi ✘ Illegal Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Mauritius ✘ Illegal (Penalty: 5 years) + UN decl. sign. (national debate over repeal of the law) Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown ✔ Bans some anti-gay discrimination[10] Unknown
Mozambique Not specifically outlawed, other laws may apply (no record of enforcement)[11][12] ✘ ✘ Unknown Unknown ✔ Bans some anti-gay discrimination[13] Unknown
Réunion (Overseas department of France) ✔ Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.
✔ Pacte civil de solidarité
since 1999
✘ ✘ Single gay persons may adopt ✔ ✔ Bans some anti-gay discrimination Unknown
Rwanda ✔ Legal [14][15] ✘ ✘ Unknown Unknown ✘ Unknown
Seychelles ✘ Male illegal
✔ Female legal
Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Somalia ✘ Illegal (Penalty: Death) Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown
Uganda ✘ All homosexual acts illegal (Penalty: Fine up to life sentence, Death penalty under consideration) ✘ ✘ Constitutional ban since 2005 ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘
Tanzania ✘ Male illegal (Penalty: Life Imprisonment) Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Zambia ✘ Male illegal (Penalty: fine to 15 years)
✔ Female legal
Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Zimbabwe ✘ Male illegal (Penalty: up to 10 years[16])
✔ Female legal
Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

Southern Africa

LGBT rights in: Homosexual acts legal? Recognition of same-sex relationships Same-sex marriage Same-sex adoption Allows gays to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination (Sexual orientation) Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Botswana ✘ Illegal (Penalty: Fine - years) Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Lesotho ✘ Illegal [17] Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Namibia ✘ Illegal (not enforced)[18] Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown ✘ Anti-gay discrimination clause ineffective after adoption of new Labor Act Unknown
South Africa ✔ Legal since 1994 ✔ Legal since 1996 ✔ Legal since 2006 ✔ Legal since 2002 ✔ ✔ Bans all anti-gay discrimination Unknown
Swaziland ✘ Male illegal (Penalty: US$90 fine - prison.)
✔ Female legal[19]
Unknown ✘ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

See also

References

  1. BBC NEWS | World | Africa | Africa's lesbians demand change
  2. Ottosson, Daniel (May 2009). State-sponsored Homophobia: A world survey of laws prohibiting same sex activity between consenting adults Page 45. International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA). Retrieved on 2009-05-19.
  3. Ottosson, Daniel (May 2008). State-sponsored Homophobia: A world survey of laws prohibiting same sex activity between consenting adults Page 11. International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA). Retrieved on 2009-01-12.
  4. Gambia: Mob Violence And Murder Feared After President's Gay Beheading Threat, AllAfrica, June 12, 2008
  5. [1]
  6. Page 6 of [2]
  7. [3]
  8. Burundi abolishes the death penalty but bans homosexuality 27 April 2009.
  9. Ethiopia travel advice, British Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  10. Africa: Outspoken activists defend continent's sexual diversity
  11. [4]
  12. Labour Code. Page 25 of [5]
  13. Africa: Outspoken activists defend continent's sexual diversity
  14. [6]
  15. [7]
  16. Not tickling Mugabe’s fancy, Tribune, October 24, 1997
  17. Lesotho travel advice, British Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  18. [8]. Constitutional protection for sexual orientation since 2005. Labour Code of 1992 (which banned sexual orientation discrimination) was replaced by The Unimplemented Labor Act 2004, which did not specifically enumerate homosexuals as a group protected from employment discrimination, and such discrimination occurred.
  19. Not specifically outlawed but ILGA 2008 pdf report labels as "unclear"; 2008 version of report still lists as unclear (with proposed ban) - pending laws needs to be updated w/ 2008/2009 data: Pending law, page 9 (Number 12), includes outlawing lesbian sex conduct. [9] and page 37 [10].

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*Some information provided in whole or in part by http://en.wikipedia.org/