Angola decriminalizes homosexuality and penalizes homophobia
A new penal code in Angola has come into force this week on Wednesday 10th february, decriminalising same-sex relationship and prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. This is a result of almost 6 years since laws stipulating homosexuality activities discribed as ” vices against nature” were abolished from the penal code inn 2015.
In November 2020,President João Lourenço signed the penal code which the Angolan Parliament had approved in 2019, making Angola one of the few countries to provide LGBT community rights in the African continent. This act was seen by many LGBT+ activists from different parts of Africa as a hope and example to other African Countries that are still holding discriminatory and harsh laws against LGBT+ people, putting them at everyday risk.
Angola’s move came in when when the US new President Joe Biden and his government recently declared sanctions on countries that are criminalising homosexuality not respecting human right such Nigeria where one can risk a death penalty for his or her sexual orientation. These kinds of sanctions were also tried once during Obama’s government and LGBT human rights became one of his campaigns when the ex President Obama visited Africa during his ruling time. He is known for many African countries and especially christians as a president who promoted LGBT+ rights and antichrist
“ Well, I don’t feel unsafe in Luanda, I really lived my sexuality without a problem and my family never had a problem about my sexuality. No one attacks you maybe because we have people who are openly gay such as news anchors, or stars. However, people can still be talking about you behind the back and this sometimes can create tension on your reputation. Something changed but still people need time to process the change, it is still somehow an uncomfortable topic ”. Nelson from Angola told gay christian Africa.
LGBT+ Communiy accross the globe celebrated this decision for its protection for LGBT+ community by criminalising homophobic acts with a punishment that goes to 2 years of imprisonment. The celebration that caught an eye of people who use the Bible to justify their discriminatory position against homosexuality. An act that can be seen as lack of compassion and empathy toward other human beings. Angola opened a door for freedom and inclusion and the hope is that in the future the door of equity will be opened to allow gay couples enjoy the right of civil union and why not Marriage.