Across much of Africa, gay people face discrimination, persecution, and potentially even death.
The East African country of Tanzania has been cracking down on expressions of homosexuality recently. The home affairs minister has threatened to shut down NGOs promoting gay rights, while even the president has weighed in, stating somewhat bizarrely that “even cows disapprove” of same-sex relations.
This attitude is indicative of widespread social norms, and indeed laws, across much of the continent. Thirty-three African countries criminalize homosexual behavior and/or attraction, out of a total of 54 nations.
Here’s a map and details of where it’s illegal to be gay in Africa. The information comes from the 2017 report by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).
Gay sex is punishable by imprisonment of up to two years and a fine of up to 2,000 Algerian dinars ($19).
Sexually-active gay people can have security measures imposed on them, including probation or internment in a workhouse or farming colony for up to three years. The country is currently in the process of adopting a law that repeals provisions against same-sex relationships.
Anyone who has “carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature”—a phrase often used in legal codes to refer to homosexual activity—can be sentenced to prison for up to seven years.