Angola Has Finally Decriminalized Homosexuality
It's 2019 and the country has dropped its 'vices against nature' provision.
2019 has been off to a shaky start for many African countries. However, the LGBT community in Angola, as well as its allies from all over the world, are celebrating after the state decriminalized homosexuality.
Angola adopted a new penal code yesterday since its independence from colonizer, Portugal, in 1975. The notorious 'vices against nature' provision was a part of the remnants of colonial law and led to the discrimination of LGBT Angolans particularly when it came to accessing healthcare, education and obtaining employment.
According the the new penal law, individuals who discriminate against members of the LGBT community may be subject to a prison term of up to two years. The news comes after the country's only formal LGBT organization Iris Angola was recognized legally by the state in a historic move. Following the decision, the organization's Carlos Fernandes said:
"We're turning the page for gay citizens who now have a body that is recognized by the state which gives more weight to the work of our organisation."
Although there are at least 70 countries in the world which still view same-sex relations and associations as criminal, even punishable by the death penalty in parts of Northern Nigeria, this is nonetheless a victory for the Angolan LGBT community.
And if you ask us, it's about damn time.
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