This article is part of a series The Conversation Africa is running on issues related to LGBTI in Africa. You can read the rest of the series here.
Of the 76 countries that still criminalise same-sex relationships and behaviour, 38 are African. Recent surveys also show that the overwhelming majority of people who live in Africa strongly disapprove of homosexuality. This is even the case in South Africa, the only country on the continent that has legalised same-sex marriage.
Last month, socially conservative Ireland voted convincingly to legalise same-sex marriage. It became the first country where the people, as opposed to the courts or parliament, decided to legalise same-sex marriage. Ireland is now one of 20 countries globally that permit gay marriage. Fifteen years ago, such marriage was not legal anywhere in the world.
What the science is saying
Africa’s strong anti-homosexuality sentiment, harsh laws and active discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people warrant exploration. Read more