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Revitalizing the Fight Against Homophobia in Africa

Publication year: 
Author (s): 
Downie, Richard
Corporate author: 
Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
Publication details: 
Washington DC, CSIS, 2014

This report examines the reasons why multiple African governments have strengthened already tough laws against homosexual conduct or are debating doing so. To understand this situation, it is essential to spotlight clearly the powerful factors that motivate and empower this form of virulent bigotry. The report explains why the United States and other Western partners have so far been unable to make a positive impact on gay rights in Africa, despite active support of global LGBT rights. It details the costs of this surge in legislative homophobia to U.S. national interests in Africa—in particular, the need to uphold human rights principles and protect public health investments. And it concludes by discussing a U.S. strategy that over the long term can most effectively rebut homophobia, in partnership with others.