Gambia Lawmakers Pass Bill to Jail Gays for Life

Gambia's National Assembly has passed a bill imposing life imprisonment for some homosexual acts, potentially worsening the climate for sexual minorities in a country with one of Africa's most vocal anti-gay leaders. The charge of "aggravated homosexuality" could be leveled at repeat offenders and people living with HIV/AIDS.

Homosexual acts were already punishable by up to 14 years in prison under a law amended in 2005 to apply to women in addition to men. The bill awaits approval by President Yahya Jammeh, who in 2008 instructed gays and lesbians to leave the country or risk having their heads cut off. In February, Jammeh said, "We will fight these vermins called homosexuals or gays the same way we are fighting malaria-causing mosquitoes, if not more aggressively." Read More