Angola decriminalizes homosexuality, bans anti-gay discrimination

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Lawmakers in Angola approved a new penal code that decriminalizes consensual same-sex sexual relations in the African country.

The Angolan Parliament on Jan. 23 scrapped the law that had been in place since Portugal colonized the country. Lawmakers also banned discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Associação Íris Angola, an Angolan LGBTI advocacy group, applauded lawmakers.

“We still have a lot to do, but it is important that we celebrate each victory,” it wrote on its Facebook page. “This is just one of the many that are yet to come and that we will achieve together.”

Neighboring Zambia is among the dozens of countries around the world in which consensual same-sex sexual relations remain criminalized.

Human Rights Watch notes Seychelles and São Tomé and Principe are among the countries that have repealed anti-sodomy laws in recent years.

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