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Mapping anti-gay laws in Africa

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Tightening laws and increasing punishments

Legal rights are diminishing for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people across the African continent.


It's already illegal to be gay in Uganda. If you're found to have had a same-sex relationship, you can expect to spend seven years in prison. But Uganda's anti-gay laws have become even harsher.

In December 2013, the notorious Anti-Homosexuality Bill was passed by Uganda's Parliament. It has lengthened sentences for consensual homosexual sex, and extended punishments to those 'promoting' homosexuality.


Nigeria already outlaws same-sex relationships. But the conditions of imprisonment have become wider, and the punishment much harsher, when Nigeria's President passed amendments to existing laws in January 2014.

But there are some rays of light...

Mozambique recently removed the Portuguese colonial-era laws that criminalised homosexual behavoir, removing a clause that outlawed 'vices against nature'.

But that's only the first step in a long fight for full equality in the country. The organisation that successfully lobbied the authorities tomake the change, Lambda, is still not officially recognised as an NGO.

Illegal or legal? Breaking it down by country

Death penalty

Mauritania, Sudan, Northern Nigeria, Southern Somalia


Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Comoros, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe


Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, South Africa.