Queer Lawfare in Africa: Queer identities as political currency in autocratization processes and courts as sites of resistance

Date/Time: 26 August 2022, 10:00-11:15
Venue: Kulturhuset

Across much of Africa the lives of queer people – lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTIQ+) – are deeply affeccted by an extreme politicisation of queer identities and rights.Church leaders and politicians are whipping up hatred, and anti-queer laws are tightened and more harshly enforced. This is by now a familiar story. But it is only part of the picture. Some African countries have liberalised the law, decriminalised same sex relations, strengthened rights of transgender people, and outlawed discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation – and are seeing more tolerant attitudes in the popuation. And queer activists are using multiple strategies and arenas to advance their cause – including by taking cases to court, sometimess with considerable success. The Botswana High Court decriminalised homosexuality in 2019, in a judgment upheld by the appeals court. This roundtable discusses the dynamics of queer lawfare in a range of African countries: why develompments are so different across countires; how autocratic leaders use anti-queer mobilization; and the relationship between queer activism and poltiical backlash.

Participants: TBA

This roundtable marks the forthcoming book, edited by  A. Jjuuko, S.Gloppen, A. Msosa and F.Viljoen: Queer Lawfare in Africa (Pretoria University Press). It is part of the LawTransform project “Political Determinants of Sexual & Reproductive Health” (RNC/Globvac)