Angola’s decriminalisation of LGBTQ+ relations sees it shedding a law from its colonial past. Picture: Jasmin Sessler from Pixabay
Angola’s decriminalisation of LGBTQ+ relations sees it shedding a law from its colonial past. Picture: Jasmin Sessler from Pixabay

Love wins as Angola decriminalises same-sex relationships

By Chad Williams Time of article published Feb 12, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - Angola has officially decriminalised same-sex relationships and prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation.

According to various media sources, the landmark law decriminalising homosexuality adopted by Angola in 2019 which took effect on Thursday is viewed as a victory for LGBTQ+ rights, not only in the country, but also on a continent where same-sex relationships remain illegal in the majority of states.

The ruling also means that anyone refusing to employ or provide services to individuals based on their sexual orientation may face up to two years in prison.

According to Out.com, the changes originated in the first rewriting of the country’s penal code since gaining independence in 1975.

Proscription of the LGBTQ+ community was included in the country’s penal code in 1888, writes the Guardian.

According to the Guardian, the government at the time said homosexuality was one of many “vices against nature”, which included a provision in its law that could send same-sex couples to prison for at least 14 years.

A former colony of Portugal, Angola’s amended laws were a remnant of the colonial-era rule that encouraged discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community, writes Out.com.

The decriminalisation of LGBTQ+ relations in Angola came a week after US President Joe Biden began a global push for legislation of LGBTQ+ rights, writes the Guardian Nigeria.

Advocacy group Human Rights Watch says that by casting aside this relic of the colonial past, Angola has dismissed discrimination and embraced equality, adding that the 69 other countries around the world that still criminalise consensual same-sex conduct should follow its lead.

– African News Agency

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