Homosexuality is a subject that throughout history has been a cause of dispute, the 21st century offering little divergence.   As with many contemporary issues, western ideology is to be found at the center of the debate surrounding LGBT rights. So much so that certain developing nations (Ghana, Uganda, and Kenya for example) have accused the West of acting with a neo-colonist agenda, blackmailing poorer countries into adopting their liberal stance on the subject of homosexuality (Roberts 2014). Recent events surrounding the Sochi Winter Olympics, in which certain athletes refused to participate and heads of state to visit the opening ceremony because of anti-homosexual legislation passed by Russia, further illustrates the controversy surrounding the issue (BBC 2014 ). Certainly, LGBTs are by no means a new phenomenon – countless examples extend throughout history over a wide cultural spectrum – and neither is the argument surrounding the subject. Nevertheless, the 21st century witnesses intriguing shifts in the theatre of dialogue. The Western obsession with human rights, rising African animosity toward outside interference (as, for instance, through the International Criminal Court, The IMF and World Bank, and official donor agencies), the role played by religious bodies, and the subject of same sex marriages have all impacted upon the homosexual debate. Alliances have been realigned, such that the field of battle appears increasingly to pit western proponents of homosexuality against Russia and much of the rest of humanity. The study of LGBT legislation is as such, a highly compelling area of study.

This paper seeks to examine homosexuality within the African setting. In order to do so, a brief examination of British legislation and custom (both past and present) is considered, from which many Commonwealth countries derive their laws. Following, the legislation of several African countries comes under scrutiny. No such study could be reasonably...