Gabon has officially decriminalised gay sex in a landslide victory for the LGBTQ community in the Central African nation.
On Monday night, the Senate of Gabon voted in favour of reversing the ruling against same-sex relations, with 59 votes in favour, 17 against and four abstentions.
The first steps towards supporting LGBTQ rights were made last week by the lower house of Parliament.
Under a 2019 law, Gabon was one of 73 countries or jurisdictions around the world – more than two dozen of which are in Africa – that criminalise homosexual acts.
Human rights campaign Peter Tatchell welcomed the reversal.
“This is a magnificent victory for LGBT+ people in Gabon and across Africa. It bucks the trend in many African nations, like Nigeria and Uganda, where the repression of LGBT+ communities has intensified in recent years,” he said.
“Coming on top of Angola’s decriminalisation last year, it will give hope to the many brave LGBT+ campaigners throughout Africa that they can eventually win,” Peter continued, adding: “This still leaves 72 countries and jurisdictions where same-sex relations remain a crimes, including 10 countries that have the death penalty for homosexuality.”