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Senegal: Two gay men sentenced to 6 months for having gay sex

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Two gay men in Senegal are feeling the effects of harsh anti-gay laws in the country. According to the Associated Press on Feb. 1, a judge have sentenced the two men to six months in jail for committing "an improper or unnatural act with a person of the same sex."

It was a rare conviction but evidence that the country is serious about a penal code that calls for possible imprisonment for up to five years and fines of up to $3,000 for committing the act that has been deemed "unnatural".

The two men who were arrested after neighbors alerted police to their home, confessed to their sexual relationship in court on Friday (Jan. 31). They were then sentenced under the penal code and will be serving jail time. Although the sentencing was an example of discrimination against gays in the country, Senegalese President Macky Sall insists that gays are only prosecuted for breaking the law.

In this case, they did break the law, but the law itself has been disputed as discriminatory. Currently more than two-thirds of African countries outlaw consensual same-sex partnerships.

Back in November, five women were arrested for suspicion of violating the country's anti-gay law. Arrests have been on the rise in the Muslim-majority country since 2008.

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