Via the Associated Press:
Gambia’s National Assembly has passed a bill imposing life imprisonment for some homosexual acts, officials said Monday, potentially worsening the climate for sexual minorities in a country with one of Africa’s most vocal anti-gay leaders. The bill amending the criminal code was passed last month and brings life sentences for “aggravated homosexuality,” minority leader Samba Jallow told The Associated Press. That is a charge leveled at repeat offenders and people living with HIV/AIDS. Jallow said that while his National Reconciliation Party did not condone homosexuality, he voted against the bill along with one other lawmaker. “In our view, (homosexuals) did not commit a crime worthy of life imprisonment or any treasonable offense,” he said. Homosexual acts were already punishable by up to 14 years in prison under a Gambian law that was amended in 2005 to apply to women in addition to men. The bill now awaits approval by President Yahya Jammeh, an autocratic ruler who in 2008 instructed gays and lesbians to leave the country or risk having their heads cut off.
PREVIOUSLY ON JMG: Gambian president Yahya Jammeh declares that his nation “will fight homosexuality like we fight malaria.” Jammeh is named one of 2013’s worst anti-gay villains by Human Rights Watch. Jammeh compares himself to Mohammed because he has “cured” 68 AIDS patients with herbs. Jammeh says no amount of foreign aid will bring LGBT rights to Gambia. Jammeh threatens to decapitate “any homosexuals found in Gambia.”