Homosexuality remains illegal and demonised across much of Africa. Often its existence is denied or explained as a ‘foreign import’. LGBT people in Africa live in fear of jailing by the state, or private lynchings for which they have no legal remedy [link]. Accusations of homosexuality are often used as a political weapon – many African bishops are both personally homophobic, and afraid of the damage to their status which would be involved in giving pastoral support to gay people.
Even so, it’s not an unmixed picture of repression. Former Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s activism means that homosexuality is legal in South Africa and the Church of Southern Africa is engaging positively with LGBT people. Elsewhere brave men and women have formed support organisations, affirming, at considerable risk, that it’s possible to be gay and Christian. Changing Attitude Nigeria, Changing Attitude Kenya and Integrity Uganda are vocal examples.
Explore the archive of news stories we have covered for Africa here.
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