Legislating Against Same-Sex Marriage in Africa: Cultural and Religious Values Trumping Human Rights; But For How Long?

The paper examines the spate of legislative and other measures taken by African countries against same-sex marriages. It demonstrates that this opposition is predicated on those African cultural values and religious beliefs which regard marriage as a union between a man and a woman. It is shown that the insistence on such values and beliefs is not in consonance with the increasing recognition of gay rights in other parts of the world, especially the developed Western countries. It is argued that the legislative measures taken by African States violate the human rights of homosexuals, and that since marriage is a dynamic institution, African States should consider balancing the needs for the protection of the rights of homosexuals with the society at large.