Activists want gay rights on Africa summit agenda

July 29, 2014 - 5:05 PM

Human rights and gay rights activists are urging President Barack Obama to ensure that the issue of anti-gay discrimination in Africa is on the agenda at next week's summit in Washington with more than 40 African leaders.

The Human Rights Campaign, a national gay rights organization, and Human Rights First, which advocates aggressive U.S. stances on human rights issues abroad, described the summit as a "once-in-a-generation moment" to promote equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Africans.

According to the two groups, 37 African countries with more than 800 million residents have laws criminalizing LGBT relationships, and leaders of 32 of those countries are invited to the Aug. 4-6 summit.

Among them are Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, who signed harsh anti-gay laws this year.