The Country Of Gabon Passed A Ban On Gay Sex

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We have sad news from the African country of Gabon.

According to Reuters, Gabon has ruled to criminalize gay sex. The central African country has now become the 70th country in the world to do so. It takes the spot from fellow African country Botswana, which decriminalized gay sex back in June.

Specifically, the country banned “sexual relations between people of the same sex.” The country officially made the change back in July, but it went largely unnoticed by the rest of the globe. It wasn’t until Gabonese citizens began being charged under the new law that reports started coming in.

Davis Mac-Iyalla, a West African LGBTQ rights advocate, spoke to Reuters and said he’d talked to two Gabonese men who were arrested under the law.

“It has further sent the LGBT community underground and has created harassment,” said Mac-Iyalla. “The corrupt police now use that, arrest people and then people have to bribe their way out.”

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If convicted of the gay sex crime, LGBTQ people could face a penalty of up to six months in prison and a fine of 5 million CFA francs (approximately $8,521).

Not only has Gabon joined 69 other countries across the country that have criminalized gay sex, but it is among 32 of Africa’s 54 countries to do so. But while it’s unfortunate that the majority of African countries have laws against homosexuality and gay sex, many are leftover from British colonial rule, there is a positive turn happening throughout the continent. Six African countries have gotten rid of their bans since 2012.

There’s still much more room to fight for LGBTQ rights in Africa in this coming new year, and this change in Gabon is not promising. But, that won’t stop LGBTQ people and advocates from fighting for their rights and lives.

Source: Reuters

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