'In South Africa's black townships, being gay can be fatal.'
'South Africa has a liberal constitution
promising equal rights for all
.' 'In a society that is deeply religious, traditional and highly patriarchal, lesbians and gay men contradict the dominant view of African manhood.' 'Across Africa, gay people are threatened, humiliated, raped, beaten, killed, jailed, outed in front-page newspaper stories, condemned by preachers as un-Christian and by politicians
and traditional leaders as un-African.' 'In South African townships there's a crime dubbed "corrective rape," rape to "cure" lesbians
, and sometimes gay men and transsexuals. They are told they are being taught a lesson: how to be a real woman or man, survivors say.'
'In one particularly appalling case this month, a 13-year-old girl was gang-raped because of her sexual orientation
, according to South Africa's Justice Department.'
Gay people are targeted in many townships. 'Muntu Masombuka, 28, is a gay man living in Kwa-Thema. In 2006, he was walking home from church when three burly men attacked. They dragged him into a house, stripped him, tied him up, beat him and raped him. '"They said if I am a woman, they will show me what men do to women. They said, 'Boys don't walk like that.' My mind was shut down. I cried until I couldn't cry any more. I went home naked."
He knew his attackers, but says police refused to accept his report of rape.
"They said, 'How can they rape you if you are a man? You should have fought back as a man.' They said, 'Come and listen to this boy. He says he's been raped. How can you be raped if you are a man?' I was furious, because they were humiliating me."'
The rape and murder of Noxolo Nogawaza
, a 24 year old lesbian in the Kwa-Thema Township in South Africa, galvanized the gay and lesbian community, 'but police spokesperson Tshisikhawe Ndou said investigators do not currently consider the murder a hate crime'