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Senegal Targets Same-sex Couples

A group of Senegalese lawmakers has drafted a law that would tighten already repressive laws against same-sex relations, lengthening potential jail terms for those convicted of LGBT+ activities The bill would lengthen prison terms to between five and 10 years and criminalize LGBT+ activities specifically. The current law targets anyone who commits an “act against nature” with persons of the same gender. It is unclear how much support the bill would win in parliament. Senegalese LGBT+ activist Djamil Bangoura called on the international community to pressure authorities to reject the new legislation. “When individual freedoms, in particular the most sacred — privacy between consenting adults — are attacked, then there is little time left to realize that democracy is in danger,” he said. Same-sex relations remain taboo in many socially conservative African societies, where some religious groups have branded it a corrupting Western import. It is legal in only 22 of Africa’s 54 countries and punishable by death or lengthy prison terms in others, according to International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association.