The African revolution begins with gay rights

Published: June 9, 2013

Blame it on passionate politicians screaming as loud as they can that being gay is un African, but somehow Africa has managed to be known as the continent that hates gays. My country, Uganda, has been dubbed the worst place to be gay, following the anti-homosexuality ‘Kill the gays’ bill. Nigeria just passed a law that provides the death penalty for homosexuality, Kenya has a fantastic constitution that guarantees equal rights but not equal rights for homosexual people; while in countries like Tanzania, North Africa, Rwanda, Zimbabwe and West Africa, the discourse has not even begun. The most ‘tolerant’ African countries stay silent and look the other way while others actively oppose homosexuality as an import from the west here to destroy the continent.

Africa has however managed to inspire the homosexuality debate world over.
In the recent House of Commons debate on the UK Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, a member called upon the house to vote for the bill because of Africa rather than vote against it for the same reason. While in all other international discourses Africa has been ignored or referred to only as a place that needs ‘help’ other than a continent that brings something to the world table, the debate on homosexuality cannot be complete without Africa. In this debate, unlike those on hunger, disease and other afflictions that have cowered Africans into complacent people who cannot stand up to their rogue governments, Africa’s resilience shines.

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