Mozambique decriminalises homosexuality

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Homosexuality-decriminalized-in-MozambiqueMozambique has decriminalised homosexuality in its new penal code, making it one of a few African countries where same-sex relationships are legal. The revised code, in force from Wednesday, drops a Portuguese colonial penal law dating back to 1896 outlawing “vices against nature.”

The colonial code would previously punish anyone “who habitually engages in vices against nature” to three years of hard labor. The move is regarded as largely symbolic as there have been no known prosecutions of homosexuals since Mozambique gained independence 40 years ago.

But it an be seen as a signal of improving rights for the gay community in Mozambique, while Nigeria and Uganda are pushing strict anti-gay agendas.

“I am sure that African countries will look at their old laws and see that this is an important step to guarantee that society is free and equal,” Danilo Da Silva, head of the Mozambican gay rights group Lambda, told BBC News.mozambique

Although Mozambique is not known for anti-gay sentiments, many in the country, made up of mostly Christians and Muslims, view promoting gay rights as an attack on cultural and religious practices. The country has a population of more than 25 million.

The historic move comes as other African countries have moved to tighten anti-gay laws.

Nigeria has banned same-sex public displays of affection and also introduced legislation mandating a 14-year prison sentence for gay sex. About 87 percent of Nigerians support bans on same-sex relationships.

Uganda is attempting to enact a new anti-gay law after a previous one was defeated in a constitutional court. Donors, including the United States, cut funding to Uganda in protest of the previous law.

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2 Responses to Mozambique decriminalises homosexuality

  1. These are the friends ECL wants on his side. Soon it will be Zambia.

    abdullar musa
    July 2, 2015 at 3:50 pm
    Reply

  2. Ba Abdullar Musa – ECL made his position very clear on this issue when he was campaigning for the presidency. Your HH was mum.

    Observer
    July 2, 2015 at 6:09 pm
    Reply

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