Activists in Kenya and Botswana are pursuing legal challenges to laws that criminalize same-sex sexual acts. The cases reflect growing enthusiasm for the use of so-called strategic litigation to promote the human rights of sexual minorities. But regardless of how the courts decide, the tactic comes with risks.
Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo caused a stir with his recent comments about LGBT rights in an interview with Al Jazeera. The backlash highlights how the issue is often used as a cudgel against public figures, and how those who invoke it remain largely ignorant of the experiences of actual sexual minorities.
Tanzania’s decision to detain and deport South African human rights lawyers as part of a broader anti-gay crackdown was a direct affront to a global pioneer on LGBT rights. As is typical, though, South Africa’s response has been muted, despite activists’ request that the country speak out more forcefully.