President Barack Obama was flying to Africa when the word came down that the heart of the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Prop 8 were struck down. Africa is a continent beset by war, strife, and a lot of anti-LGBT scaepgoating.
There, President Obama urged African leaders to extend equality to LGBT people. Unfortunately, this may be too soon as he was rather bluntly rebuked by Senegal’s President Macky Sall.
Perhaps Obama should have tried something less problematic like urging them to just not use LGBT people to blame for the problems of their nations, work towards fixing corruption and hunger, and while they were at it, end the stupid sectarian conflicts.
During a news conference with President Sall, President Obama stated “When it comes to how the state treats people, how the law treats people, I believe that everybody has to be treated equally.”
Sall, though, said that Senegal was a very tolerant nation, but “still not ready to decriminalize homosexuality.” He went on to say that countries make decisions on such complex issues in their own time, and then took a swipe at the nose of Obama by pointing out that Senagal has outlawed capital punishment- unlike the United States.
President Obama will be visiting South Africa, where homosexuality has long been decriminalized and which has had same-sex marriage for a wile now, and Tanzania.
Thousands of people gathered to see Obama’s motorcade as it sped through to the Senegalese presidential palace. Many Africans have expressed disappointment in the fact that Obama has not been more engaged in the politics of Africa.