A Scramble for African Values: How the U.S. Christian Right is Influencing African Sexual Politics
Posted: 12 Apr 2013
Date Written: April 12, 2013
Same sex relations are outlawed in more than 35 African countries. Yet LGBT persons who are slowly finding their voices are doing so at a very high cost. In Christian Africa, however, their biggest opponents are religious leaders, who are working with politicians and U.S. religious conservatives to ensure that sexual rights are kept out of the continent. I explore the relationship between U.S. religious conservatives and African religious leaders are resisting efforts to decriminalize same sex relations in many parts of Africa. U.S religious conservatives, will argue, have effectively globalized the Culture Wars and have defined the framework on which African LGBT rights are discussed. But unlike the United States where antigay arguments are critiqued and discredited, in Africa, claims that gays are out to recruit Africans into homosexuality are taken as facts. Because religion and politics are interconnected in most African countries, antigay arguments have resulted in the introduction of stiffer law against sexual minorities such as Uganda’s notorious 2009 Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which would mandate the imprisoning and in some cases the execution of homosexuals. But such developments have pitted the U.S. Christian Right against human rights defenders by local as well as international actors.
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