Several Senegalese legislators aimed to augment the duration of prison sentences for those involved in same-sex relationships. Luckily, the bill did not gain approval.
In Senegal, same-sex relations are still illegal. Those convicted of engaging in them can be sentenced to up to five years in prison under the Senegalese penal code, which classifies homosexuality as an "unnatural act."
Last December, a group of lawmakers tried to tighten this law even more with a bill aiming to increase prison sentences from five to ten years and also criminalize LGBTQ activities without giving more details on what they were exactly talking about.
Senegal National Assembly (photo by Bernard bill5)
Fortunately, this new legislation was rejected by lawmakers at the Bureau of the National Assembly, who select bills that are put to vote in Parliament. The Bureau has decided that the already repressive laws are clear enough and the penalties provided for are severe enough.
With such a law, it is difficult for members of our LGBTQ community to live freely. Not only does this outdated law fail them when they need protection from discrimination or violence, but also considers their relations crimes. I hope one day we will see an end so all individuals in West Africa can live freely with dignity regardless of a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.