Zanzibar Passes Tough New Gay Sex Law
April 14, 2004
By Mark Levy, 365Gay.com Newscenter, Cape Town, South
Zanzibar City, Zanzibar—Lawmakers
in Zanzibar have overwhelmingly passed a bill that outlaws gay sex in the
semi-autonomous island that is part of Tanzania. But, the legislation is not
as severe as first proposed.
Originally, the bill would have imposed a life sentence.
It was revised to provide for a five year sentence for homosexual acts.
However, sex with minors would carry a life sentence of 25 years.
Under Zanzibar’s 1934 penal code, sodomy and
“unnatural acts” were offenses, but the government wanted to update the
law to specifically deal with homosexuality.
“We want to be very specific that this sort of thing is
not acceptable in Zanzibar,” said Adam Mwakanjuki, Zanzibar’s
constitutional affairs minister.
“There has been increasing homosexual behavior in this
part of East Africa,” Mwakanjuki said. The island had become a popular
tourist spot for gays from South Africa.
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