The gay rights movement is gaining ground around the world. In the United States, more than 30 states allow same-sex marriage. However, in some African countries homosexuality remains a crime punishable by lengthy jail terms.
There are at least 19 countries around the world — including France and Canada — where same-sex marriage is legal. In places like Uganda and Nigeria, however, being gay is itself illegal and can even lead to life in prison.
The United Nations Human Rights Council issued a resolution, reiterating its grave concern about violence and discrimination worldwide against homosexuals and transgender people.
This year, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear appeals allowing a significant expansion of same-sex marriage among individual states. The court also lifted a stay on issuing same-sex marriage licenses in Kansas, making it the 33rd state to allow gay unions.
The Heat explores gay rights in AfricaThe Heat interviewed Evan Wolfson for more on gay marriage in the United States. Wolfson is the founder and president of the Freedom to Marry organization.
The Heat also interviewed Bisi Alimi for more on gay equality in Nigeria. Alimi is a Nigerian gay rights activist and the first Nigerian to come out publicly as gay on Nigerian television.
Bisi Alimi discusses gay rights in NigeriaThe Heat also interviewed Bisi Alimi for more on gay equality in Nigeria. Alimi is a Nigerian gay rights activist and the first Nigerian to come out publicly as gay on Nigerian television.
Last January, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed into law The Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill. It criminalized public displays of affection between same-sex couples. The law also imposes up to a 14-year sentence for those who enter a same-sex marriage contract or civil union. CCTV America interviewed Derek Obialo for more on Nigeria’s same-sex prohibition law. Obialo is a Nigerian-American, U.S. Attorney, and expert on Sub-Sahara Africa.