By: Precious Lesupi
With an end to a global celebration of pride month, a few African countries have taken into parliaments motions for the rights of the pride community.
Gabon’s lower house of parliament has recently voted to reverse the law that bans same sex relations. The vote passed with 48 members of parliament voting to take the law off the books, 24 against and 25 choosing to abstain from the vote. The decriminalization of homosexuality comes in a country where the pride community would be punished with up to six months in prison and fines of up to 7,600 euros.
Gender and sexuality activist, Majobo Monese says, “I believe we need to engage the society. I say this because even for countries that have decriminalized homosexuality there is still so much homophobia and stigma towards the lgbti community. Society has to unlearn and learn that homosexuality is not taboo. The laws protection will be limited in a hostile community.” Monese mentions that homosexuality is regarded as taboo because of long years of religious education claiming in Africa.
Gambia however, has recently denied the decriminalization of homosexuality or reviewing any laws attached to the subject. In Gambia, homosexuality activity is illegal and can carry a hefty prison sentence.
Monese mentions that the biggest danger homosexuals face apart from individual homophobes is the state invalidation of their identity. “This encourages more abuse from society because on top of their disapproval of homosexuality the state also has made it a crime. This spirals so much self hate in the gay community,” she said.
“In addition Africa is very cultured and condemns homosexuality because according to their marriage culture is is unnatural. This is because apparently homosexuality denies procreation.”
If society would be educated on other options of procreation, maybe they would be a bit open minded.