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Homophobia: Africa's Hottest Trend

Women protest in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2010 against a sentence of 14 years in prison with hard labor given to two men in Malawi under that country's anti-gay legislation. AP/Schalk van Zuydam


It’s not just Uganda. The Democratic Republic of the Congo could become the 38th African country to ban homosexuality. A politician in Kenya, meanwhile, is demanding enforcement of a colonial law that criminalizes gay sex.

The recent passage of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act, which toned down punishment from execution to a mere life in prison, has brought international attention back to Africa, where homophobia appears to be running rampant. Uganda’s law makes Russia’s gay propaganda law seem tame by comparison, although there’s something very dangerous about its vagueness and the Kremlin’s apparent willingness to let gangs beat the hell out of gay people — or gay-seeming people.

But back to Africa, where there’s some good news. Activists in Uganda are taking the new law to court, arguing on several fronts that the law should be dismissed.

All Africa:

Kampala — Ugandan activists Tuesday filed a petition in the Constitutional Court challenging the country’s new anti-homosexuality law.

The petition, filed by the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law, challenges the act on a number of grounds.

Among other things, it says the act violates the principle of equality and non-discrimination, that the penalty of life imprisonment is disproportionate, and that the bill was passed without a parliamentary quorum.

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