Target: President of Gambia, Yahya Jammeh
Goal: Oppose law that punishes gays with life imprisonment in Gambia
Many countries in Africa are passing laws that criminalize and punish homosexuality, creating a tense and intolerable sexual climate. A law in Gambia is waiting for approval by the Gambia president, and if signed, would place homosexuals in jail simply for being who they are. This law is in violation of international law and must be opposed immediately.
Gambia has leaders who are very vocal about homosexuality, and this new law could place them in danger. The country already has a law that places homosexuals in jail for 14 years, but for those who commit aggravated acts of homosexuality, such as being a repeat offender or having HIV/AIDS, it could land the person in jail for life. The bill also states that those engaging in same sex with someone who is disabled, underage, or under the influence of drugs will suffer the same sentence. This is an irresponsible and unfair law, but it is highly likely that the president of Gambia will approve this legislation.
President Yahya Jammeh, who has almost unlimited control over the Gambia government, stated in 2005 that all gays and lesbians should leave their country or risk having their heads cut off. He is also quoted saying in a recent televised event, “We will fight these vermin called homosexuals, or gays, the same way we are fighting malaria-causing mosquitoes, if not more aggressively.” President Jammeh should not have the power to sentence homosexuals to life in prison, as these people did not do anything violent. The country should honor all sexual orientations and instead of punishing the differences, it should be embracing them. Tell President Jammeh not to approve this law, as it violates basic human rights.
Dear President Jammeh,
A bill that sentences homosexuals to life imprisonment is awaiting your signature. This bill is unethical, as a person should not be sentenced to jail for their sexual orientation. This is a ridiculous legislation that violates basic human rights, and is creating a hostile and tense sexual climate. I do not understand why you are against homosexuals, as they are people just like you and me.
I urge you not to sign this legislation, as it goes against international law. Homosexuality should not be a crime, especially one treated with as much severity as murder. Life imprisonment should be a sentence given for actual violence, not for someone’s sexual orientation. Repeal this legislation at once.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Kurt Lowenstein Education Center International Team via Wikimedia Commons