Angola Decriminalizes Homosexuality
Photo Credit: Global Voices

Angola, a west-coast nation in south-central Africa, has legalised homosexual activities in the country.

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To this end, people who refuse to employ or render services to individuals because of their sexual orientation may risk two years in prison.

The decriminalisation of same-sex activities was on Wednesday, January 23, put into effect by Angola’s parliament as the country adopted its first new penal code since it gained independence from Portugal in 1975. The bill was passed with 155 votes in favour, one against and seven abstentions.

This development gives the rights and freedoms of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, subjecting their intimate lives to unwarranted scrutiny.

In 2018, Angola gave legal status to Iris Angola, an organisation founded in June 2013 for the defense of sexual minorities in Angola.

Iris Angola described the Justice Ministry’s decision as a “historic” moment, AFP reported.

“We’re turning the page for gay citizens who now have a body that is recognised by the state which gives more weight to the work of our organisation,” said Iris Angola’s Carlos Fernandes.

This has been confirmed to be one of the reforms under the administration of President Joao Lourenco, a former defense minister who took office in 2017 after the long rule of Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

Concise News gathered that in 2018, India, Trinidad and Tobago also decriminalised homosexuality. The Indian Supreme Court ruled that the anti-gay British-era penal code, similar to Angola’s, was unconstitutional.