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Homosexuality is “Un-African”: A Contemporary Analysis of Human Rights Consequences of Being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Intersex in Africa

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This paper explores the exponential rise in homophobia and hate crimes experienced by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people (and communities) across the African continent. This paper will explore homophobia and heterosexism from a South African standpoint, while also providing an overview of the experiences of LGBTI communities across Africa (including Zimbabwe, Malawi, Kenya, Swaziland and Uganda). Constructs such as homophobia, heterosexism, and homophobic hate crimes will be defined and evidence provided which illustrates the wave of homophobia which has spread throughout the continent in the last decade. The proposed Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill and the initial imprisonment of two gay men in Malawi will serve as the backdrop from which to critically analyse this cultural crisis in Africa. Suggestions will be postulated with regards to the manner in which human rights advocates, practitioners, educators and policy makers should respond to this ever worsening violation of human rights and social justice.

Keywords: South Africa; cultural pluralism; democracy; homosexuality; human rights education; social justice

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: North West University, South Africa

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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  • Political Crossroads is a bi-annual, international, refereed journal which, since 1990, publishes critical and empirical scholarship in political science and international relations. Its areas of focus include global security, terrorism, national identity, migration and citizenship, and the politics of resources and trade.
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