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Proposal in Chad would make gay sex a crime

La localisation du Tchad en Afrique.
Location of Chad in Africa.

The north African country of Chad is considering adopting a new penal code that would punish homosexual activity with up to 20 years in prison, Agence France-Presse reports.

The proposed legislation was adopted by the country’s cabinet on Sept. 4, but would need parliamentary approval to become law. AFP obtained a copy of it last week.

Article 361 bis of the draft of a new penal code calls for punishments of 15 to 20 years in prison and fines of  50,000 to 500,000 CFA francs (76 to 762 euros) for same-sex activity.

The issue of homosexuality, “has never really been an issue” in Chad, according to Florent Geel, Africa director of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).

FIDH logo
FIDH logo

He called the proposal discriminatory, demagogic and counter-productive and urged parliament to amend the text before passing it.

According to the latest report from the ILGA (International Association of lesbians, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex), Chad has no law against homosexual activity, although the AFP article said homosexual activity is currently a misdemeanor, likely they meant it is considered a misbehaviour.

According to Radio France Internationale, “The old code was not explicit enough. This time, homosexuality is strongly repressed. Officials in Chad say that law is needed to ‘protect the family and to comply with the Chadian society.’ ”

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at info@76crimes.com. Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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