John M. Becker

Senegalese Judge Jails Gay Couple for Having Sex

Filed By John M. Becker | February 03, 2014 7:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, criminalization, jail, Macky Sall, persecution, Senegal, sodomy law

senegal-map.pngDisturbing news out of the west African nation of Senegal. The Associated Press reports:

A judge in Senegal sentenced two men to six months' jail in a rare conviction of a gay couple on criminal charges. The two were arrested after neighbors alerted police to their home in Grand Medine neighborhood of Dakar, the capital.

In court Friday the two men acknowledged having sex. Judge Racky Deme sentenced them under Senegal's penal code that calls for prison sentences of up to five years and fines of up to $3,000 for committing "an improper or unnatural act with a person of the same sex."

More than two-thirds of African countries outlaw consensual same-sex acts, and discrimination and violence against gays, lesbians and transgender people is common. Senegalese President Macky Sall insists gays in the conservative, predominantly Muslim country are only prosecuted for breaking the law.

In his visit to Senegal last June, President Obama called on the country to decriminalize homosexuality in a joint press conference with Sall. However, Sall maintained that the country is "still not ready" to get rid of its sodomy law.

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