LGBT issue is a rather new phenomenon in Sierra Leone. This issue became a talking point some time after the decade long war in this country when the Dignity Association was formed in 2002, to campaign for LGBT rights. It is true that Sierra Leoneans use to hear about same-sex sexual activities in both sexes, with less attention given to female same-sex sexual activities. Male same-sex sexual activities were generally looked upon as an aberration but not taken seriously. Almost everybody thought that men in same-sex relationships were bisexuals. It was only when gays and lesbians began to come out in the open and press for rights that the LGBT issue started to raise eye-brows. It was at this point that people began to realize that there are those whose sexual orientation is same-sex.
The general perception of same-sex relationships in Sierra Leone is that it is practiced by foreigners, especially by white people. And the black people in same sex sexual activities are not many. Most people were shocked when their fellow Sierra Leoneans wanted same-sex relationship recognition.
The LGBT issue became topical in 2004 when Fanny Ann Eddy, founder of Sierra Leone’s Lesbians and Gay Association was murdered. LGBT sympathizers claimed Ms: Eddy was killed because of her sexual orientation.
There is a law that criminalizes gay practice in this country. This law is section 61 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861.
A person or persons guilty under this Act can be sentenced to life imprisonment. This law, which was inherited from the British, is seldom (if ever) enforced. That this Act has not been expressly repealed pose a threat to LGBT rights. This Act states
“Sodomy and bestiality: whosoever shall be convicted of the abominable crime of
convicted of the abominable crime of buggery, crime committed either with
mankind or with any animal shall be liable to be kept in penal servitude for life.”
So far, there are no laws in this country protecting against LGBT discrimination. This implies that people in same-sex relationships are at the mercy of anti-LGBT`S.
Our cultural, traditional and religious practices frown at LGBT issues. This country’s two main religions, Christianity and Islam, discountance same-sex sexual activities.
Despite all these drawbacks on LGBT issues, gays and lesbians have made themselves heard. There is the Dignity Association for gay rights. Strides have also been made in the diplomatic circles. The US Ambassador, Michael Owen, has done his bit on behalf of the American government for LGBT rights. Sierra Leone has also hosted the global rights institute. There is also cooperation between LGBT organizations and this country’s National Aids Secretariat (NAS).
The truth about LGBT is that Sierra Leoneans are far behind on the road to LGBT rights. Talking openly about LGBT rights is still a taboo, let alone admitting that one is a gay, bisexual or lesbian. At present, persecution, molestation and provocation area what LGBT`S or their sympathizers face.
LGBT issue is a rather new phenomenon in Sierra Leone. This issue became a talking point some time after the decade long war in this country when the Dignity Association was formed in 2002, to campaign for LGBT rights. It is true that Sierra Leoneans use to hear about same-sex sexual activities in both sexes, with less attention given to female same-sex sexual activities. Male same-sex sexual activities were generally looked upon as an aberration, but not taken seriously. Almost everybody…Continue
Good day, and let me express my deep honour and pleasure to the world challenge.
I am talking about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, human beings born free and given bestowed an equality and dignity, who have a right to claim that, which is now one of the remaining human rights challenges of our time. I speak about this subject knowing that my own country’s record on human rights for gay people is far from perfect. Until 2011, when David Cameron, the British prime…Continue
Every man, woman and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunities, equal dignity. Without discrimination, regardless of race, sex, religion, sexual preference or social status. When you were born, you were born with the same human rights as everyone else. You have the right to live, you were born free and equal to have freedom and choice of your religion and the freedom of expression. All men and women are created equal...We all fight over what the label 'feminism' means…Continue
I have always been interested in UN-related activities in diverse ways such as contributing to cohesion, unity, and conflict resolutions in youth related affairs; programmes in my community, and other communities in my country Sierra Leone. My organization Kiwanis International does not only cater for the needs of children and young adults but also does advocacy work and counseling in resolving differences arising among youths.