Senegal’s leader defends LGBT record during Canada PM visit

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02/12/2020

Senegal’s President Macky Sall on Wednesday defended his country’s ban on same-sex activity, saying during a visit from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that it “has nothing to do with” homophobia. More than half of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa — 28 out of 49 — have legislation prohibiting or repressing homosexuality. Same-sex activity is punishable by up to five years in prison in Senegal. Sall said the West African state’s laws reflected its cultural norms and that Senegalese citizens would reject legalising homosexuality. “This has nothing to with homophobia,” Sall told reporters at a press conference in the capital Dakar. Trudeau — who is in Senegal after visiting Ethiopia — said he had “briefly” raised the issue of gay rights with his counterpart. “I bring up human rights everywhere I go, every time I have an opportunity to meet a leader I talk about Canadian values,” Trudeau told reporters.

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