To be honest, I think this is a good sign. The losing side of history fights hardest before it dies. There is a huge gay rights movement in the region, which is very plugged in to the legal and advocacy resources in the diaspora community, and they are becoming very organized. It’s going to be an ugly battle- especially as there are deeply entrenched odd ideas about homosexuality.
For example, there is a genuine belief that there are gay sex cults that perform ritual human sacrifice. This came about because typically, only the rich could afford to practice open homosexuality. There came a belief that wealth and homosexuality were related, and in a place where wealth is elusive, the obvious explanation for any wealth is black magic. Many people genuinely and honestly believe this, and there aren’t many resources to change the ignorance. I had a young lesbian in Cameroon once confess to me that she was scared of her feelings precisely because she didn’t want to have to join an evil cult. These beliefs run deep.
And of course, politicians use that. Coming down hard on gays (who, remember, are probably murdering cultists) is always an easy win.
In time, the region will change. This is a sign that the issue is being taken seriously. Even if it’s a massive step backwards, it will open the debate that will eventually allow for more LGBT rights. Change is coming.
If you want to help, local LGBT rights groups organize in the US, and are always looking for help. PM me of you have some special skills- especially in law- and want to join the fight.