An echo of Uganda’s harsh anti-gay bill in Gambia

By Ena Cefo

A bill calling for life sentences for some homosexual acts has passed through Gambia’s National Assembly and is now awaiting approval by president Yahya Jammeh. President Jammeh has made his views on homosexuality clear when calling homosexuals “vermin” and homosexuality one of the “biggest threats to human existence.” Human Rights First sees the bill as another step in the rise of homophobia in many African nations, analogous to the strict anti-gay bill previously passed in Uganda, which was recently ruled unconstitutional by the Ugandan Supreme Court. In response to the Gambian bill, Secretary of State John Kerry urged the Government of Gambia to “protect the human rights of all Gambians.”