LGBTQ+ Rights In Senegal

Senegal is located in West Africa, and it is a country with a complex and sometimes difficult history on LGBTQ+ rights. This article will discuss the current state of LGBTQ+ rights in Senegal.

History of LGBTQ+ Rights

The history of LGBTQ+ rights in Senegal includes both advancements and setbacks. In 1992, Senegal decriminalized homosexuality, but only in the capital city of Dakar. It was not until 2010 that the country decriminalized homosexuality nationwide.

Despite this, Senegal is a deeply conservative country and LGBTQ+ individuals face discrimination, hostility and can still be arrested.

Current State of LGBTQ+ Rights

The current state of LGBTQ+ rights in Senegal is still tenuous. According to a 2019 survey from Afrobarometer, 74% of Senegalese people expressed disapproval of same-sex relations.

In 2019, a group of LGBT+ rights activists marched for visibility and in support of LGBTQ+ rights, though they faced resistance from the police.

Despite this, there are some signs of progress. Since 2018, Senegal has allowed transgender people to legally change their name and gender on official documents, though the process is difficult and expensive.

There are also some indications that attitudes are changing, with more Senegalese people expressing tolerance and acceptance of LGBTQ+ individuals.


Although LGBTQ+ rights in Senegal face challenges, there are also some signs of progress. With continued advocacy and activism, it is possible that there will continue to be more acceptance and progressive policies to protect and defend the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals.

Key Takeaways:

  • Homosexuality was decriminalized in Senegal in 1992, but only in Dakar.
  • Attitudes towards LGBTQ+ rights in Senegal remain deeply conservative.
  • There are signs of progress, such as allowing transgender people to legally change their name and gender on official documents.
  • With continued advocacy and activism, it is possible that Senegal will be more accepting and have more progressive policies to protect and defend LGBTQ+ rights.

In Senegal, a West African country, LGBTQ+ rights have generated much controversy over the years. Although the legal framework does not recognize same-sex marriage, a civil society movement has been advocating for greater recognition and support of the LGBTQIA+ community.

In Senegal, homosexuality is not legally accepted and, depending on the interpretation of the local population, can be punished with imprisonment, fines or other forms of punishment. The lack of legal acceptance has led to discrimination and stigmatization of LGBTQIA+ citizens, resulting in many LGBTQIA+ people being forced to hide their sexual orientation. Despite this, activists have been lobbying for greater acceptance and protection of the rights of LGBTQIA+ people in Senegal.

In recent years, there have been a number of positive developments towards the recognition of LGBTQIA+ rights in Senegal. For example, the Senegalese government has allowed the formation of civil society organisations that support the rights of LGFBTQIA+ citizens. Similarly, the National Council for Human Rights (CNDH) has also expressed support for greater protection of LGBTQIA+ rights, stating it is working towards decriminalization of same-sex relations in Senegal.

Nevertheless, there is still a long way to go before full recognition of LGBTQIA+ rights is realized in Senegal. Activists suggest that the government needs to implement more policies that provide rights and protections to the LGBTQIA+ community, such as anti-discrimination laws, hate-crime laws, and equal marriage rights. These policies can enable the LGBTQIA+ community to live safe and secure lives, free from violence and discrimination.

Overall, it is evident that Senegal is making strides towards the recognition and protection of LGBTQIA+ rights. While it is still important for the government to take further steps to ensure these rights are protected, the existence of civil society organisations and support from the National Council for Human Rights points to a possible future in which these rights are fully accepted.