Pride Month Special: LGBTQAI+ Still Shamed in Some Nations

| Updated: June 6, 2022 6:44 pm

It is absolutely imperative that every human being’s freedom and everyone’s human rights are respected, all over the world ~ Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir

The sixth month of the year is also the Pride Month across the world. In today’s times of inclusivity and the need to overcome barriers of all sorts, there are, however, some nations that not only denounce same-sex relations. LGBTQAI+ community is penalised for it. Despite its tradition-bound image in the larger world, India, scrapped the laws labelling sexual diversity in September 2018.

The Supreme Court of India ruled that the application of Section 377 to consensual homosexual sex between adults was unconstitutional, “irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary”, but that Section 377 remains in force relating to sex with minors, non-consensual sexual acts, and bestiality.

In recent years, many countries like India have shown immense support by scrapping such laws toward the LGBTQAI+ community and by acknowledging their sexuality. Even today, there are still 69 countries where homosexuality and same-sex relations are criminalized. Of these countries, more than half of them are in Africa. Nearly 34 of the 54 African nations have rather rigid laws to “deal with same-sex relations.”

In African countries like Mauritania, Sudan, Nigeria and Sudan homosexuality result in the death penalty; including in other countries worldwide like Yemen, Iran, Brunei, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, UAE, and Pakistan.

The rigid laws are backed by their cultural beliefs in their respective countries. Political leaders claim that colonization brought homosexuality and non-heterosexual gender relations. However, a closer study of reality proves that sexual diversity existed in African history long before the arrival of colonizers.

Other than these hardwired beliefs, religious institutions support Anti-LGBT laws. Western Christian right-wing campaigners like the US Evangelist, Scott Lively, are known to openly fund these African homophobic campaigns. Roman Catholic Bishops also support these campaigns in view of same-sex relations pronounced “unnatural” by texts.

Several Islamic countries like Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan also have stringent laws against the LGBTQAI+ community. The former President of Gambia, Yahya Jammeh 2015 said on an agricultural tour, “If you do it [same-sex relations in the Gambia] I will slit your throat—if you are a man and want to marry another man in this country and we catch you, no one will ever set eyes on you again. And no white person can do anything about it.”

Adding to this antagonistic statement, he is credited with the infamously famous statement: “We will fight these vermins called homosexuals or gays the same way we are fighting malaria-causing mosquitoes… if not more aggressively.”

The acceptance of homosexuals/people from the queer community is low as 3% in Senegal. Other countries where anti-gay laws exist have 26% in Swaziland, Botswana at 43%, Sao Tome and Principe at 46%, and Mauritius at 49%. Cape Verde 74%, South Africa 67%, Mozambique 56%, Namibia 55%; where anti-gay laws are non-existent are the countries where a majority of respondents were tolerant towards homosexuals.

There are minute chances to overthrow this homophobic ruling over these African countries and head towards the legalization of Homosexuality and same-sex relations. Yet, capitulating to this revolution is not an option.

As Bayard Rustin said, “We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers.”

Read this: Celebrating Pride Month with Indian Cinema characters

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