The African nation of Gabon is bringing in laws against gay sex.
In recent years, the African nation of Gabon had no laws for or against homosexuality, but the country has now brought in laws banning two people of the same gender having sex. People convicted could face up to six months in jail, and a fine of five million Central African francs (over £6,300).
A government official told Reuters that the law had come into force in July earlier this year. Davis Mac-Iyalla, an activist who works with the Interfaith Diversity Network of West Africa said two men in the country have already been arrested, and had to bribe the police.
“It has further sent the LGBT community underground and has created harassment. The corrupt police now use that, arrest people and then people have to bribe their way out.”
Lucas Ramon Mendes, a researcher at ILGA World which advocates for LGBTQ rights across the world, said that many countries were seeing “polarising tensions.”
“Where things are getting better, there is a momentum for even more improvement, and where things are bad now we’re seeing things are worsening,” he explained.
Earlier this year, the African nation of Botswana legalised homosexuality after the Supreme Court unanimously agreed that a person’s right to privacy should extend to their decision of union with whomever they love regardless of gender, as well as the “fundamental private choices including those with regards to sexual conduct.”
“A democratic nation is one that embraces tolerance, diversity, and open mindedness… societal inclusion is central to ending poverty and fostering shared prosperity,” said Honourable Judge Leburu.
“Sexual orientation is not a fashion statement. It’s an important attribute of one’s personality. All people are entitled to autonomy over their sexual expression.”
Sadly, the government later announced plans to try and repeal the ruling.