restricted access Battle for Sex?: Protecting Sexual(ity) Rights in Africa

Most African states see permission of unconventional sexuality and recognition of same-sex marriages as “deviant” in relation to the traditional sex roles of women and men. States have invoked justifications such as “cultural sovereignty,” “protection of public morals,” “religious sanctity,” and “traditional values” as a rationalization for criminalizing queer sexuality. However, religious leadership, not the state, has the responsibility to guide the morality of individuals. Everyone should enjoy equal rights irrespective of their sexuality, including sexual orientation and sexual identity. The realization of the rights of “all people born free and equal in dignity” will require criminalizing homophobia, not homosexuality.