Ian Ollis, a member of the South African parliament, paints a sobering picture of LGBTQs’ legal and cultural status on the African continent. Recall that parts of Nigeria are under sharia law, which calls for people convicted of homosexual activity to be stoned to death. Cameroon is arresting people with a Y chromosome for looking feminine, and may soon change its laws to equate homosexuality with pedophilia. According to Amnesty International, one Cameroonian man, thrown in jail for homosexual activity, has been abandoned by his family, which has decided he is a “wizard.” Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe unabashedly trashes homosexuals at state events.

In other words, the same tired hatreds and mindless canards that the LGBTQ rights movement is gradually overcoming in the US still hold terrible power over people’s lives in many countries in Africa.

South Africa is leading the charge against bigotry on at least one front. Ollis applauds his own country’s introduction of a UN Human Rights Council resolution supporting equal rights for people of all sexual orientations. South Africa apparently pissed off a lot of other African countries in doing this, including Cameroon and stone-throwing Nigeria; the Egypt delegation walked out. But it passed–23 votes to 19. An awful lot of culture change needs to take place before gays are safe in Africa.