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Angola Just Decriminalised Same-Sex Sexual Relationships

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 11 Feb 2021 11:01
Angola Just Decriminalised Same-Sex Sexual RelationshipsPA Images

It is now no longer illegal to be in a same-sex relationship in Angola.

The new legislation decriminalising same-sex relationships was signed into law by the country’s president in November last year, but only officially came into effect yesterday, February 10.

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It’s taken over two years for it to come into force, as the law was initially passed by parliament in January 2019.

Despite the long wait, people have applauded the move, with activist Jean-Luc Romero-Michel describing it as ‘a great step forward’ in the fight against state-sponsored discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community.

LGBTPA Images

As well as the decriminalisation of LGBTQ+ relationships, homophobia is now a punishable offence and could see someone spend up to two years in prison for discrimination based on sexual orientation.

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The new laws came as part of the first rewriting of Angola’s penal code since gaining independence from Portugal more than three decades ago. Under Portuguse colonial rule, discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community was encouraged, according to Out Magazine.

People took to social media to express their joy at the new law coming into effect, and congratulated the country on its positive move towards equality.

One person wrote, ‘From today, the law decriminalizing homosexuality in Angola takes effect. Homophobia will be punished by imprisonments. I’m so happy for every queer person in Angola. Love is love is love.’

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Another supporter said:

It is great to hear that Same-sex marriage has now become Legal in Angola after a U-Turn within Law. At the end of the day, whether you are LGBTQ+, You deserve to express your love for one another without someone being told you are wrong! Sending all my love to citizens in Angola.

Someone else tweeted, ‘ANGOLA DESCRIMINALIZED SAME-SEX RELATIONSHIPS!!! Finally, you can be in jail for the discriminate LGBTQ+ community in one more country, is being a slow journey but we will get there [sic]!’

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At the time the new law was passed, Francisco Queiroz, minister of justice and human rights, said the legislation was ‘an act of sovereignty’.

As per Out Magazine, he said:

This is an act of sovereignty by the Angolan State which, after 134 years of being governed in the criminal and criminal fields, with a code that has been in force since 1886, from the colonial administration, now has the penal code totally inspired by political reality, legal, cultural and social Angolan.

‘Therefore it is an aspect that must be underlined, this one of the consolidation of the national sovereignty’, Queiroz added.

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If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact the LGBT Foundation on 0345 3 30 30 30, 10am–6pm Monday to Friday, or email [email protected]

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: News, Law, LGBTQ+, Now, World News

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Out Magazine
  1. Out Magazine

    Angola Just Decriminalized Same-Sex Sexual Relationships