- June 24, 2014
Post submitted by Jane "TJay" Thirikwa, HRC Global Fellow.
The Gambian government is set to put forward a bill before parliament in a renewed effort to toughen anti-LGBT laws in the West African nation. The new bill seeks to ban LGBT rights organizing and individuals in the country.
Gambia’s Secretary General and Minister for Presidential Affairs, Momodou Sabally, said that the government plans to ward off attempts to promote homosexuality, drug abuse and other crimes in The Gambia. According to Sabally, “Gambia will not import any western culture into the country in exchange for foreign aid”.
If brought to parliament, the bill will most likely be backed by Gambia’s president, Yahya Jammeh, who has on numerous occasions made scathing anti-LGBT remarks, even branding LGBT people as vermin and a threat to human existence.
Most recently, Jammeh threatened to kill asylum seekers who cite the country’s anti-gay laws and allegedly tarnish his image as they seek to resettle abroad as refugees. Homosexual acts are illegal in Gambia, with the criminal code punishing consensual sexual acts between men with 14 years in prison. In 2005 the law was updated to include women.