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article imageAfrican scientists leading charge against anti-gay laws in Africa

By Brian Booker     Jun 19, 2015 in World
Homosexuality is “un-African,” or at least that's what some national leaders would have you believe. The Academy of Science of South Africa, however, is pushing back, having released a report refuting and condemning anti-gay laws.
Anti-LGBT sentiments have been increasing in recent years and 38 of 53 African countries now have laws on their books that make same-sex relationships illegal. In four countries homosexuality is punishable by death.
Last September, the Gambia passed a law calling for life imprisonment for “aggravated homosexuality,” while this past January Uganda passed laws outlawing the promotion of homosexuality.
The report issued by the Academy of Science of South Africa claims that these anti-LGBT laws have no basis in science, history, or philosophy.
The scientists involved in the study take aim at specific allegations of the anti-LGBT camp. The scientists refute the notion that homosexuality is socially contagious, encourages the spread of AIDs and HIV, and that it encourages pedophilia.
These claims, among others, are often cited by African policy makers seeking to outlaw homosexuality.
Importantly, the scientists also note historical evidence of homosexuality being present in Africa since at least the 19th century. The scientists also point to biological evidence that homosexuality is natural.
These claims are important because they can be used to refute claims made by some African leaders that homosexuality is a “Western” import. By showing that homosexuality was present before colonial powers, and is based in biology, not culture, the scientists help disprove this notion.
More about Africa, lgbt rights, Africa homosexuality
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