Homosexuality is still illegal in some parts of the world:
In an interview with The Guardian, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf defended her nation’s laws which makes the committing of homosexual acts – “voluntary sodomy” – punishable by up to one year in prison. “We like ourselves just the way we are,” Sirleaf told the Guardian, when asked about the law, as well as proposals for even stricter anti-gay legislation. “We’ve got certain traditional values in our society that we would like to preserve.”
Sirleaf has long been held up as an example of progressiveness in Africa. She was the first woman elected president in modern Africa, and she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 because she “contributed to securing peace in Liberia,” promoted “economic and social development,” and strengthened “the position of women.”
Across Africa, many of the more traditional societies have been pushing back against gay rights since U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced in December of last year that U.S. foreign aid would be used to promote rights for gays and lesbians abroad, including combating attempts by foreign governments to criminalize homosexuality.
Homosexuality is illegal in as many as 38 African countries, according to the BBC. In 3 countries, it is punishable by death, while the rest impose punishments that range from life sentences to probation for simply displaying sexual intentions with someone of the same sex.
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