Angola decriminalizes homosexuality, bans anti-gay discrimination

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Lawmakers in Angola approved a new penal code that decriminalizes consensual same-sex sexual relations in the African country.

The Angolan Parliament on Jan. 23 scrapped the law that had been in place since Portugal colonized the country. Lawmakers also banned discrimination based on sexual orientation.

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For World AIDS Day, Pence praises HIV programs Trump sought to cut

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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With World AIDS Day approaching, the White House recognized the occasion on Nov. 29 with an event hosted by Vice President Mike Pence, who during his remarks praised HIV/AIDS programs Trump sought to cut during his administration.

Crediting President Trump with bringing a “renewed energy and focus” against HIV/AIDS, Pence made faith-based organizations’ work a cornerstone of his remarks, saying those efforts have made the United States “closer today than ever before to ending the AIDS crisis in our time.”

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US ‘troubled’ by anti-LGBTI crackdown in Tanzania

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert on Nov. 9 said the U.S. is “troubled” by the Tanzanian government’s anti-LGBTI crackdown.

“The United States government is deeply concerned over escalating attacks and legislative actions by the government of Tanzania that violate civil liberties and human rights, creating an atmosphere of violence, intimidation and discrimination,” she said in a statement. “We are troubled by the continued arrests and harassment of marginalized persons, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and others who seek to exercise their rights to freedom of speech, association and assembly. Legislation is being used to restrict civil liberties for all.”

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In Africa, LGBT rights activists worry about Trump impact

By : Wire Report
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DAKAR, Senegal (AP) – Gay rights activist Joseph Achille Tiedjou is worried every day that he will be harassed or arrested in Cameroon.

Defending LGBT rights can be dangerous in Africa, where many countries have laws against homosexuality. But in recent years activists have stepped out of the shadows, empowered by the support of the Obama administration and the international community.

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Kenya 1st in Africa to use generic drug to fight HIV

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NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) – Kenya is the first country in Africa to introduce a generic version of the current drug of choice for people living with HIV, officials said June 28.

Kenya’s government and the global health initiative Unitaid announced that the East African nation will make the generic version of Dolutegravir available for routine use. They said Nigeria and Uganda will introduce the drug later this year.

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Tanzania orders arrest of 3 men for promoting homosexuality

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DODOMA, Tanzania (AP)- A Tanzanian official has ordered the arrest of three men accused of promoting homosexuality in this East African country.

Hamisi Kigwangalla, the deputy minister of health, said in a statement Tuesday he wanted the men prosecuted for advocating sodomy through social networks.

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Gambian activists cheer exit of anti-LGBTQ leader

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ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP)- In August 2014, Jamu Camara was at home with her girlfriend in the Gambian resort town of Kololi when police arrived for a surprise raid, taking both women in for questioning.

“They just said they heard we are lesbians, blah blah blah,” the 21-year-old soccer player recalled. “I told them, ‘You have no right to detain me here. I’m not going to say anything because you don’t have your evidence.'”

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Doctors Without Borders has “zero tolerance” for inaction fighting AIDS in Africa

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Durban, South Africa (AP) – Doctors Without Borders’ HIV policy adviser says the global aid group has “zero tolerance” for inaction on fighting the virus in Central and West Africa.

The organization says 4.5 million of the 6.5 million people living with HIV in those regions don’t get treatment.

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Human rights group urges against forced anal exams in 8 countries

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Geneva (AP) – Human Rights Watch is urging an end to “forced anal examinations” with a report documenting them in eight countries, mostly in Africa, saying the practice is based on flawed ideas about supposedly proving homosexual conduct.

The advocacy group calls the examinations “a form of cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment” that amounts to sexual assault, violates international conventions and could rise to the level of torture. 

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Gambia lawmakers pass bill to jail gays for life

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ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast – Gambia’s National Assembly has passed a bill imposing life imprisonment for some gay acts, officials said Sept. 8, potentially worsening the climate for sexual minorities in a country with one of Africa’s most vocal anti-gay leaders.

The bill amending the criminal code was passed last month and brings life sentences for “aggravated homosexuality,” minority leader Samba Jallow said. That is a charge leveled at repeat offenders and people living with HIV/AIDS.

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Activists want gay rights on Africa summit agenda

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Human rights and gay rights activists on July 29 urged President Barack Obama to ensure that the issue of anti-gay discrimination in Africa is on the agenda at next week’s summit in Washington with more than 40 African leaders.

The Human Rights Campaign, a national gay rights organization, and Human Rights First, which advocates aggressive U.S. stances on human rights issues abroad, issued a statement depicting the summit as a “once-in-a-generation moment” to promote equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Africans.

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