Angola To Becomes African Country To Decriminalize Homosexuality
Angola has adopted a new penal code, dropping the “vices against nature” provision from its colonial era, and decriminalizing homosexuality.
The country’s new law will see people who discriminate against members of the LGBT community be subject to up to 2 years in prison, Human Rights Watch revealed.
Angola has finally shed the divisive “vices against nature” provision in its law, widely interpreted to be a ban on homosexual conduct.
Taking things one step further, the government has also prohibited discrimination against people on the basis of sexual orientation. And so anyone refusing to employ or provide services to individuals based on their sexual orientation may face up to two years in prison.
The changes came on January 23 as Angola’s parliament adopted its first new penal code since it gained independence from Portugal in 1975 and removed the provision, inherited from its Portuguese colonizers.
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.
The country’s old penal code was put in place by its colonizers, Portugal, in 1975, allowing discrimination of LGBT people in terms of education, employment, and even healthcare.
Angola now joins other African countries like South Africa, Lesotho and Seychelles to become places where LGBT people can live without the fear of state-sanctioned discrimination and violence.
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