Tuesday, May 05, 2009

It Ain't Easy Being Gay

We in the gay community have had our share of struggles over the years. We fought for equal rights in the workplace, in housing, in, well, just about every aspect of life that most people take for granted, including, now, the right of marriage equality.

It's a far different battle in Senegal.

Homosexuality is illegal in Senegal where 95 percent of the population is Muslim. So, it's against the law to be who you are in Senegal.

Homosexual acts are punishable by up to five years in prison. Falling in love can get you jailed in Senegal.

You can't get married in Senegal. You can't be buried in Senegal.

Last weekend Senegalese villagers dug up the body of a man because they believed him to be gay, and did not want him buried in the Muslim cemetery. Thies village police officers were called out after villagers exhumed the body of a man who had died that day, in the hospital, of natural causes.

"We intervened and the people dispersed. The parents put the body back in the tomb."a police officer said.

Then, after police and the man's family went home, villagers returned to the cemetery and dug the body up again, and dragged it to the front door of the deceased man's parents' home and dumped it there. The father took the body for burial elsewhere.

In Dakar, nine ,men were jailed for the crime of being homosexual, but were ultimately freed on April 20 following an international outcry from rights groups. In response, a group of Muslim religious leaders in Dakar announced they had set up an Islamic Front for the Defence of Ethical Values. Several imams denounced homosexuals in violent terms, one even calling for them to be "eliminated from life."

Newspapers and radio stations denounced the men as "vicious" and "perverts" following their release, and, according to Amnesty International, some broadcasters called on the population to attack and throw stones at anyone they suspected of being homosexual.

We think it's difficult being gay in America, and don't get me wrong, it is; but try being gay in other countries around the world. We have a battle at hand, they are in a fight for their very lives, and deaths.

1 comment:

Dan said...

it isnt other countries, its extremist muslim countries. I have a few gay muslim friends and they are just sick with what is being done yet again in the name of religion.