A draft bill that would criminalize homosexuality in the central African country represents a backward step for human rights in the country, says Amnesty International.
The rights group said Tuesday that amendments to the penal code proposed by the government would criminalize same-sex conduct in Chad, threatening jail sentences of between 15 and 20 years, and a fine ranging from $100 and $1,000.
Both male and female same-sex sexual activity is currently legal in Chad, and such activity had never been criminalized.
But if the proposed legislation is enacted, Chadian people “who are perceived to be gay or don’t conform to traditional gender stereotypes will not be able to live their lives with equality and dignity,” said Amnesty.
Homosexuality has been criminalized in 38 African countries, including Nigeria and Uganda, according to Amnesty International.
In Gambia, lawmakers recently proposed legislation that would introduce sentences up to life imprisonment for some homosexual offenses.