DAKAR, president Macky Sall said Wednesday that the ban on homosexuality in Senegal was a matter of the cultural specificity of his country and had “nothing to do” with the homophobia, in the presence of the canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, who has “briefly” discussed the subject with him.
“I’m always at the defense of the rights of the person and I always get those stakes everywhere I go”, said at a press point that is common to Dakar Mr. Trudeau, known for his involvement in the matter. “The president Macky Sall knows very well my outlook on it and we talked about it briefly”, he added.
He put in a counterpoint, the fact that Senegal is, according to him, “a leader in the field of democracy, in terms of values, we all have work to do yet.”
Mr. Sall has confirmed that the question is sensitive in this country of West Africa, had been addressed at the time of their interview.
“Only, the laws of our country obey the norms that are the distillation of our values of culture and civilization”, he said. “This has nothing to do with homophobia. Those who have a sexual orientation of their choice, are not the subject of exclusion’, he insisted.
Reproached by a journalist who asked him what of the laws banning homosexuality were not part of homophobia, Mr Sall has kept to explain.
But it has left the door open to evolution.
“We can’t ask the Senegal to say: “Tomorrow legalizes homosexuality, and, in the future, it is the gay parade, etc””, he added, in reference to the Gay pride or “marches, pride events held in other regions of the world.
“This, this is not possible because our society does not accept it. The company, it will evolve, it will take the time that it will take”, said the senegalese president.
“We cannot have a global vision of the world where all countries think the same and do the same thing”, he added. “Each country has its own metabolism”, he insisted.
The senegalese law punishes with penalties of one to five years imprisonment for homosexual acts. The penal Code talks about “act immodest or against nature with an individual of her sex”.
Mr. Sall, whose country is often cited as an example of the rule of law in Africa, has always relied on the specificities of Senegal, to refuse a decriminalization of homosexuality.
More than half of the countries in sub-saharan Africa – 28 of 49 – have laws prohibiting or criminalizing homosexuality, sometimes punishable by death.