Gay Africans start to push forward

In Africa most countries are highly intolerant of homosexuality and have high-security risks for same-sex couples.

South Africa is the only country on the continent where same-sex marriage is allowed. In Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Lesotho, Mozambique and Rwanda, to be gay is legal but there are no legal rights for gay people. Homosexuality is illegal in the rest of Africa.

Face to Face Africa have been monitoring online posts from gay people in South Africa and other countries, and notes that:

It is evident that sexual attraction or relationship between members of the same sex or gender is evolving from being a hidden practice to a symbol of pride.

Yes, exactly.


Discrimination in South Africa over civil partnership registrations

Gay rights organisations and some political parties in South Africa have noticed that 421 of the country’s 1131 marriage officers have been exempted from performing civil unions for gay couples.

South African law allows marriage officers to refuse to officiate gay marriages.

Cope MP Deidre Carter said the issue came to their attention and they felt they needed to have it addressed. The party lodged a private members’ bill seeking to repeal section 6 of the Civil Union Act 17 of 2006. That section allows a marriage officer in the employ of the state to inform the Minister of Home Affairs that he or she objects on the grounds of conscience, religion and belief to solemnising a civil union between people of the same sex – and to be exempted from officiating.

Eric Lembembe


Eric Lembembe | 76 Crimes | 14164

Prominent Cameroonian gay rights activist and journalist Eric Lembembe, pictured, was killed in July 2013. Human Rights Watch reported that

Mr Lembembe’s neck and feet were broken and his face, hands, and feet had been burned with an iron.

Mr Lembembe was the executive director of the Cameroonian Foundation for Aids, a courageous activist who campaigned for equal rights, despite severe discrimination and violence. His friends discovered his body at his home in Yaounde, after being unable to reach him by phone for two days.

There have been other worrying incidents in Cameroon. The headquarters of Alternatives-Cameroun was burned down on 26 June; the Yaounde office of human rights lawyer Michel Togue was burgled and his legal files and laptop stolen; Mr Togue and Alice Nkom, another lawyer, have received repeated death threats including threats to kill their children.

In December, a Cameroon appeals court upheld the sentencing to 36 months in prison of Roger Jean-Claude Mbede under anti-gay legislation.


David Kato



David Kato | BBC | 14449

Gay Activist David Kato of Kampala, Uganda was killed on January 26, 2011. The local police said he had been killed in an attempted robbery but local gays were adamant that Kato was killed because he was gay.


Guardian | 14450

One of the few openly gay men in Uganda, and the most vocal local critic of the proposed legislation, Kato had told close friends of increased harassment since the court victory on 3 January, and of receiving warnings that people were going to “deal with him”. Frank Mugisha, a close friend and colleague at the human rights group Sexual Minorities Uganda, where Kato was the advocacy officer, said: “He mentioned increased threats – a lot more than usual. He was even directly threatened outside the court.”


Mr Kato’s funeral | Guardian | 14451

Kato began campaigning for gay rights in Uganda in 1998 when virtually nobody was “out”. Homosexuality was illegal, and offensive to most Ugandans. The gay rights movement in Uganda grew, with Kato and his colleagues at Sexual Minorities Uganda calling for gays to be included in national HIV-awareness and treatment programmes. The higher profile created enemies. Local religious leaders launched campaigns alleging that the gay community was seeking to “recruit” schoolchildren. Their efforts were boosted by visits from several homophobic American preachers.

Ugandan politicians then joined in. MP David Bahati introduced the anti-homosexuality bill to parliament in 2009. Besides calling for life imprisonment and the death sentence for gay people, the bill requires all Ugandans to report “homosexual activity” within 24 hours or face police action.