Angola decriminalizes homosexuality


In a landmark reform, 155 parliamentarians voted for Angola’s first overhaul of the criminal statute books since gaining independence from Portugal. They voted to drop the colonial era provisions, broadly considered as anti-gay. “While there have been no known prosecutions under the law, provisions like this one curtail the rights and freedoms of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, subjecting their intimate lives to unwarranted scrutiny,” noted international NGO Human Rights Watch. In addition to the new penal code, Angola’s government has also banned any form of discrimination against people of the LGBT community. Offenders will indeed be sanctioned and sentenced to two years in prison. In an official statement, Victor Madrigal-Borloz, the United Nation Independent Expert on Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, praised Angola’s historical move, calling for other African countries to do the same. Angola isn’t actually the first African country to decriminalize homosexuality. In recent years, many African nations have lifted the ban on same-sex relationships. Some of these countries include other former Portuguese colonies such as Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe, and Cape Verde.

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