LGBT+ community in Gabon fears backlash after vote to legalise gay sex

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06/24/2020

Gabon’s LGBT+ community said on Wednesday they feared a homophobic backlash after the lower house of parliament voted to legalise gay sex, less than a year after making it a crime. On Tuesday, 48 members of parliament voted to revise a 2019 law that criminalised same-sex relations, while 24 voted against and 25 abstained. To become law, the Senate also needs to approve the proposal. “The major part of the citizens are against it,” Leslie Obuo, an LGBT+ journalist based in Gabon, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from the west African nation. Gabon’s government did not respond to requests for comment. Gay sex is illegal most African countries. Botswana and Angola decriminalised same-sex relations in 2019 but large populations of religious conservatives in Africa, including in Uganda, Kenya and Nigeria, oppose LGBT+ rights.

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