After passing a new law decriminalising same-sex relationships in 2019, Angola has finally enacted its new penal code which is against the discrimination of LGBT Angolans.
Angola has recently enacted a new law decriminalising homosexuality which, as of yesterday, will now legally protect the rights of Angolans who are a part of the LGBT community. The new penal code, which was passed in parliament back in 2019, does away with the contentious "vices against nature" provision which targeted queer Angolans and hindered their access to healthcare, education and obtaining employment.
The former penal code which discriminated against same-sex relationships was a vestige of colonialism under Portugal dating back to pre-1975. The new law, however, comes after the country's only formal LGBT organisation Iris Angola was recognized legally by the state in a historic move.
According to Out magazine, Angola's Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Francisco Queiroz, commented on the new penal code saying:
"This is an act of sovereignty by the Angolan State which, after 134 years of being governed in the criminal and criminal fields, with a code that has been in force since 1886, from the colonial administration, now has the penal code totally inspired by political reality, legal, cultural and social Angolan. Therefore, it is an aspect that must be underlined, this one of the consolidation of the national sovereignty."
The new law states that individuals found discriminating against another on the basis of sexual orientation will face imprisonment of up to two years. While at least 70 other countries in the world still maintain that homosexuality is criminal, this is undoubtedly a huge win for the LGBT community in Angola whose collective groundwork has finally resulted in this historic moment. All we genuinely have to say is oh, happy day indeed!
Here are a few reactions from social media regarding the recent news:
From today, the law decriminalizing homosexuality in Angola takes effect. Homophobia will be punished by imprisonm… https://t.co/1f2KQXqmLo— Son of the Rainbow AKA LGBTQ+ CLASS CAPTAIN🏳️🌈 (@Son of the Rainbow AKA LGBTQ+ CLASS CAPTAIN🏳️🌈)1612954216.0
Angola just decriminalised homosexuality. Every single country is a step forward. 🌈🎉— Robin Morgan-Bentley (@Robin Morgan-Bentley)1612979113.0
So apparently the law decriminalising homosexuality in Angola goes into effect today. For those who think Nigeria i… https://t.co/SvaGxzSEci— Elnathan John (@Elnathan John)1612959171.0
The law decriminalizing homosexuality adopted in #Angola in 2019 took effect 09 Feb. Discrimination on the basis o… https://t.co/3HVvC1x9EM— kevin mwachiro (@kevin mwachiro)1612934420.0
We are excited & join #LGBTQ persons in #Angola to celebrate the decriminalization of homosexuality. This is surely… https://t.co/CbHw030ViT— #Repeal162 because #LoveIsHuman (@#Repeal162 because #LoveIsHuman)1613035916.0