Chad has today voted to criminalise same-sex sexual activity for both men and women.
The central African country's new penal code - which was passed by 111 votes to 1 - categorises homosexuality as a 'misdemeanour', meaning that people who are found guilty of same-sex sexual activity can now be handed a fine or a suspended sentence.
Historically, Chad had no formal punishments in place for homosexuality. The original move to ban same-sex activity came in 2014, with lawmakers originally proposing that homosexuality be punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
The move raises the total number of countries around the world in which homosexuality is outlawed to 77.
Welcoming the new law, Former Prime Minister of Chad Delwa Kassiré Coumakoye said, “Homosexuality is condemned by all religions. We do not have to forgive something that God himself rejects because Westerners have said this or that…
“The current provision of the Penal Code is a fair balance between conservative public opinion and an uncompromising international community on the protection of minorities.”
Justice Minister Hamid Dahalob added: “This penal code is modern, it takes account of our customs and also our international commitments.”
The news comes less than a month after the Ivory Coast prosecuted two men
for having sex for the first time ever, despite same-sex sexual relations being legal in the West African nation.
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