Religious Fundamentalism Holding Back Human Rights in Africa

Published: March 15, 2011

In the BBC Debate, Is Homosexuality Un-African?, former Botswana President Festus Mogae was clear that not only was homosexuality African but that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons are worthy of human rights. Mogae incurred the wrath of activists in the debate because he felt constrained about decriminalising homosexuality while in political office. Many of the constraints flow from the entrenched religious fundamentalism in many African nations and MP David Bahati illustrated that well during the debate.

Mogae’s willingness to take an educated stance and place the rights of LGBTI persons in a human rights framework while not necessarily understanding the issue himself was impressive.

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