Gambia could drop anti-gay laws because homosexuality doesn’t exist
The Gambia is considering dropping anti-gay laws that proscribe up to life in prison for those convicted to “aggravated homosexuality.”
Former Gambia leader Yahya Jammeh (right) – now in exile – introduced new anti-gay laws which included the new crime of “aggravated homosexuality” for, among other categories, “repeat offenders” and suspected gays and lesbians living with HIV. Prior to Jammeh’s legislation, the criminal code in Gambia punished gay people with up to 14 years in prison.
The new criminal code prompted the EU to freeze aid to the country.
However, Gambia’s foreign secretary Ousainou Darboe was quoted by local media as saying homosexuality is an “imaginary issue” and Jammeh had allegedly implemented the law to persecute people, reports the IBT.
Darboe said on Monday:
“Homosexuality was perhaps something Jammeh imagined in order to bamboozle the clerics that were surrounding him… He used gay as a propaganda tool in order for him to continue to repress people.
“The aggravated homosexuality was a distraction and it should be taken out of the laws… You pass laws to deal with situations, not an imaginary problem.”