Friday, January 9, 2009

Reminder: Don't Be Gay in Senegal

Engaging in homosexual acts in Senegal can get you eight years in the hoosegow. Which brings us to two questions that I'll now pose in no particular order: Why does the word "hoosegow" only appear on approximately 71,100 web pages (per Google, and if you remove the quotes the number is an only slightly more respectable 77,000)? "Hoosegow" deserves more love than that.

And what constitutes a homosexual act? If you're a guy in Senegal and you try to watch "Funny Girl," is that enough to land you in the joint? (Watching "Funny Lady" would naturally carry a lengthier sentence.) Or what if a gay guy ties his shoes. Is that a gay act? I was gay this morning when I made the bed and fed the cat. I was gay a few minutes ago when I signed for a UPS package. How many years in a Senegalese prison is that good for?

And another reminder: Stay away from Nigeria and Gambia while you're at it. From the New York Times:
Antigay sentiment has been on the rise across Africa in recent years. Nigeria's Parliament tried to pass a law last year that would restrict the rights of homosexuals to even meet to discuss their rights. Gambia's president threatened to behead any homosexuals found in his country. And even in Senegal, one of the most liberal and tolerant countries in Islamic Africa, tensions over homosexuality have been on the rise.
Makes our homophobic Republican politicians seem Kathy Griffin league gay-friendly in comparison, doesn't it? At least they'll sit down and chat with known homosexuals without decapitating them or having them arrested.

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