It’s no secret that the treatment of gays and respect for gay rights in Africa can be spotty at best. (See, e.g., previous coverage on this blog of a particularly chilling chain of events in Uganda here, here, and here. And let’s not forget Zimbabwe either.)
A welcome gesture, then, that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon used the occasion of an address to the African Union yesterday to urge its leaders to respect gay rights (coverage courtesy of the BBC). He criticized the treatment of gays as “second class citizens or even criminals” and suggested that the “ideas” behind the Universal Declaration of Human Rights require countries to reject such discrimination.
Also worth noting: the mention in the article of efforts by the US and UK to condition foreign aid upon decriminalization of homosexuality. Now there’s some fodder for the Republican primary just waiting to happen.