Ban Ki Moon: Africa Should Respect Gay Rights

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon made a startling comment today in Ethiopia when addressing the African Union Summit. He told African leaders that they should respect the rights of homosexuals.

He told the leaders that they need to stop treating gays as second class citizens or even criminals.

In many African nations homosexuality is not only discouraged but officially against the law. There is awful discrimination against homosexuals and widespread violence is reported in African countries against them.

In Africa more than 38 countries have laws banning homosexuality. In Mauritania, Sudan, and northern Nigeria, homosexuality can be punishable by death. In Uganda, offenders can gain a maximum of a life imprisonment for homosexual acts. South Africa has the most liberal attitudes toward gays and lesbians, with a constitution which guarantees gay and lesbian rights, and legal same-sex marriage.

Many first world nations have begun to address the issue of Gay Rights in Africa. Most European Union countries want to put restrictions on aid to countries that openly discriminate against homosexuals.

Gay rights is a growing issue throughout the entire world. In most middle eastern countries and those governed by Islamic law homosexuality is punishable by death.

In most western countries gays and lesbians enjoy a majority of civil rights, with marriage being a notable exception in some countries.

Do you think it was courageous for Ban Ki Moon to stand up for gay rights in Africa?