Free At Last

Breaking: Senegal Annuls 9 ‘Homosexuality’ Convictions (Gay Sex Still Illegal)

In a step forward for human rights and plain sanity, the Senegalese Court of Appeals overturned — or rather, “annulled” — the convictions of “committing homosexuality” of nine men, reportedly part of an anti-AIDS group, and ordered their immediate release. They escape eight year prison sentences after their December arrest, which was trumped with with charges of organized crime (!) and unnatural acts.

Earlier this month, the men appealed the decision of a lower court. Their eight-year sentences, as we understand it, were actually three years longer than the standard five-year sentences dealt to homo criminals.

But make note: The men were released not because the court ignored “predominantly Islamic” Senegalese law, which makes gay sex a crime, but because the judges sided with the defense’s argument that the arrests were made based on anonymous tips, and the men were not caught doing anything illegal.

And none of this will quell the trend of gay Senegalese men fleeing the country, to neighboring Mali and Gambia, to avoid persecution. Or police arrests of gay wedding attendees. And let’s not forget the arrests of two men there, one Belgian, for legally marrying abroad.