Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Pexels
Same-sex relations have finally legal in Angola - a move concluding a painfully long decriminalisation process in the African country.
Lawmakers first voted to remove a ‘vices against nature’ law widely interpreted as outlawing same-sex sex in in January 2019.
However, the president of Angola João Lourenço did not sign the new Penal Code into law until November 2020.
It has taken until this week for the law to come into effect.
The new version of the Penal Code also prohibits discrimination against people on the basis of sexual orientation, with those refusing to employ or provide services for people based on sexual orientation facing up to two years in prison.
"Great step forward"
French activist Jean-Luc Romero-Michel called the move a "great step forward" in a tweet.
La loi dépénalisant l’homosexualité adoptée en #Angola en 2019 a pris effet aujourd’hui.— Jean-Luc Romero-Michel (@JeanLucRomero) February 9, 2021
👉 La discrimination sur la base de l’orientation sexuelle est désormais répréhensible et même passible de prison.
Une belle avancée pour les #DroitsHumains qui en appelle d'autres 🇦🇴🏳️🌈 pic.twitter.com/lplesllEl5
The original Penal Code dated back to 1886 and was inherited from Portuguese colonisers, according to HRW.
It is still illegal to be LGBT in around 70 countries worldwide, while 11 – including the United Arab Emirates and 2022 World Cup host city Qatar - carry punishments up to the death penalty for homosexuality.