Hatred for gays: President Yahya Jammeh
Gambian lawmakers have passed a Ugandan-style Anti-Homosexuality Bill, it emerged on Monday.
The Associated Press reported that the legislation, approved by the National Assembly, will impose a life sentence on anyone found guilty of “aggravated homosexuality”.
Accoring to AP, the draft it has seen “contains language identical to a controversial anti-gay bill signed into law in Uganda earlier this year.”
“Aggravated homosexuality” includes anyone who is a “serial offender,” people living with HIV/AIDS who engage in gay sex and engaging in homosexual acts with a minor, a disabled person or someone who’s been drugged.
Plans for the bill were first reported in June. It was believed then that the legislation would also ban the “promotion” of homosexuality. A final draft of the passed bill has yet to surface.
Homosexuality is already illegal in Gambia under British colonial era laws; those found guilty of “unnatural offenses” face up to 14 years in prison.
It’s likely that Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh will sign the bill. Over the years he’s revealed an obsessive hatred towards gays and lesbians.
In February, he said: “We will fight these vermins called homosexuals or gays the same way we are fighting malaria-causing mosquitoes, if not more aggressively.”
He also stated that “LGBT can only stand for Leprosy, Gonorrhoea, Bacteria and Tuberculosis; all of which are detrimental to human existence.”
Speaking at the UN in New York in September last year, Jammeh said that homosexuality was amongst the biggest threats facing the world and was “more deadly than all natural disasters put together.”
In 2008, Jammeh – who has been president of Gambia since 1996 – infamously gave gays and lesbians 24 hours to leave the country or face having their heads cut off.