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Chad wants to criminalize gay sex

Chad wants to criminalize gay sex

The Chadian cabinet has adopted a new penal code that punishes gay sex with up to 20 years in prison.

Section 361 of the code states that the punishment for anyone who has sexual intercourse with persons of the same sex is 15 to 20 years imprisonment and a fine of 50,000 ($98) to 500,000 francs ($980), according to an official document obtained by AFP.

The draft text, which still has to be approved by parliament, was adopted on 4 September by the Council of State.

The old penal code did not explicitly mention homosexuality.

The government said these provisions were introduced to ‘protect the family and to comply with Chadian society.’

The new penal code also abolishes the death penalty.

Florent Geel, Africa director of the International Federation of Human Rights, said, ‘This is very good news, which is unfortunately marred by the criminalization of homosexuality.

‘Criminalizing homosexuality seems discriminatory, demagogic and counter-productive, as it may turn groups against each other.’

He said the reform of the penal code had been in preparation ‘for ten years,’ but the question of homosexuality, hitherto considered a crime, ‘has never really been an issue’ in Chad.

Gay sex is illegal in 38 out of 54 African countries.