Senegalese lawmakers draw up chilling new law for LGBT+ people and allies: ‘Democracy is in danger’

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12/17/21

Anti-LGBT+ lawmakers in Senegal are seeking to toughen the west African nation’s already horrific repression of queer citizens. A bloc of National Assembly members have drafted a bill that would lengthen potential jail terms for those convicted of same-sex acts. The penalty is already up to five years imprisonment for “acts against nature” – but lawmakers hope to stretch this out to a decade, they announced Monday (13 December). And in disturbing parallels to Ghana, lawmakers even hope to make simply advocating for LGBT+ a punishable offence, 76 Crimes reported. People who write, speak or finance any form of advocacy in favour of queer rights could face three-to-five years in prison and a fine of CFA500,000 to five million. The chilling proposals could also place crosshairs on intersex people, too. Lawmakers wish to criminalise “intersexuality” with up to 10 years in jail. Supporters for the bill grossly consider being intersex – folk born with sex characteristics that don’t fit neatly into the typical binary – as “being adept at all imaginable sexual orgies”. The proposals seek to plug the apparent gaps in the country’s laws by comparing LGBT+ people to “bestiality, necrophilia and other related practices”. According to grassroots activists, the law has been in the pipeline for the last two years, fuelled by anti-LGBT+ lobbying collective Ànd Sàmm Djikko Yi.

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