Nature reported some brilliant news from South Africa last week about a report that will hopefully bring an end homophobic laws in Africa. Okay, I will be honest this report will not change things quickly, but it does point out that homophobic laws on the continent are discriminatory and based on faulty premise i.e. being gay is a choice. So, while this report nothing new for people with half a brain, what it does do is condense all the information into a document that shows that homosexuality is completely natural. As such any discrimination against homosexuals is based on irrational fears and other bigotry that people hold internally or through religious belief.
Same-sex Sexual Activity Legal
Same-sex Marriage Legal
Other type of Partnership (or Unregistered Cohabitation) Recognized
No Recognition of Same-sex couples
Same-sex Sexual Activity Illegal
Not Enforced or unclear
Life in Prison
Importantly, what makes this report different from other before it is that it comes from African scientists. This is important as some politicians use the idea that reports from western scientists are flawed as it is western propaganda destined to corrupt the countries culture. While the idea that something coming from another country is propaganda is clearly a flawed argument, we need to remember that it is an argument that is used, albeit often with malice and intent. In fact just look at the FIFA corruption case and Jack Warner, this man is "convinced" that the Americans are just probing FIFA as they lost the bid for the world cup. In fact, the guy is a thieving idiot and just will not admit it. So with a report like this in hand, it is much easier for legislators that actually care about human rights to address social inequality. This is great news for those countries (like Uganda) where dumb Christian groups are backing laws that ask for the death sentence for homosexuality.
Congratulations and thank you to the Academy of Science of South Africa. You have created an important document that will benefit the lives of future Africans.