Chad criminalises homosexuality by vote of 111 to 1

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Chad has made homosexuality a crime, adopting a penal code that bans gay sex for both men and women.

The West African former French territory, which has a population of 13 million, green-lit a new penal code this week.

Under the terms of the new code, homosexuality will be criminalised for the first time, listed as a misdemeanour offence.

AllAfrica reports that 111 MPs voted for the the new penal code, while one MP voted against it and four abstained.

Although the new penal code makes gay sex a crime, it is a vast improvement over 2014 reform proposals, which would have made gay sex a felony, punishable by 15 to 20 years in prison. The maximum punishment is now a fine.

The now-inadequately named blog 76crimes reports that is brings the total number of countries with anti-gay laws in effect to 77.

According to the blog, former Prime Minister Delwa Kassiré Coumakoye said the compromise of making homosexuality a misdemenour offence was a “fair balance.

He said: “Homosexuality is condemned by all religions. We do not have to forgive something that God himself rejects, because Westerners have said this, that …

“I have the impression that, particularly in Chad, we live by the ideas of others. We do not have our own ideas! But for the government, the current provision of the Penal Code is a fair balance between conservative public opinion and an uncompromising international community on the protection of minorities.”