Ten women in Cameroon were arrested and are being detained because of suspicions that they’re lesbians. They could face anywhere from six months to five years in jail, as well as a fine.
Conditions are certainly worsening for LGBT people in some African nations: Liberia is considering a bill banning same-sex marriage and making homosexuality a first-degree felony with a penalty of 10 years in jail. Some media have even reported the possibility of a death sentence for gays in Liberia, but the nation’s First Lady, who submitted the bill, says this is not true.
A little more background from the Washington Post:
Contempt for homosexuals has led to anti-gay legal measures elsewhere in Africa. Last year, Nigeria’s Senate voted in favor of a bill that would criminalize gay marriage, gay advocacy groups and same-sex public displays of affection. Two years ago, Ugandan legislators introduced a bill that would impose the death penalty for some gays and lesbians, though it has yet to become law.
This is not good, friends. We cannot stand idly by and let this become a norm.
I think it’s important to point out that most (if not all) developing societies have a similar history with institutionalized heterosexism and cultural homophobia.