A draft bill that sought to toughen already severe laws against same-sex relations in Senegal was stopped from passing to parliamentary vote by lawmakers on Tuesday.
Gay sex in the West African country is punishable by up to five years in prison. A 2020 global review by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) said arrests and prosecutions have risen sharply.
In December, a new bill was drafted by a group of lawmakers drafted to lengthen prison terms to up to 10 years and criminalise LGBT+ activities specifically. The current law targets anyone who commits an “act against nature” with persons of the same gender.
Lawmakers in the bureau of the national assembly, who decide which draft laws will be put to parliament’s vote in a statement, said the existing legislation is sufficiently clear and the resultant penalties are severe.