Same-sex relationships and gay sex are officially legal in Angola.
Angola has recently become the latest African country to decriminalize gay sex and homosexuality. Back in 2019, 155 of the country’s lawmakers passed a bill to update their penal code. The code originally prohibited “vices against nature,” a rule that was leftover from Portuguese rule over the country.
Then, today, the change officially went into effect within Angola. The official change was celebrated online with several citizens and LGBTQ rights activists praising the country. French politician and LGBTQ activist Jean-Luc Romero-Michael tweeted that the move was “a great step forward” in the fight against state-sponsored discrimination.
“Angola’s 2019 law decriminalizing homosexuality enters into effect today,” he wrote. “Discrimination based on sexual orientation is now punishable and can lead to jail time. A great progress for human rights which should inspire others.”
La loi dépénalisant l’homosexualité adoptée en #Angola en 2019 a pris effet aujourd’hui.
👉 La discrimination sur la base de l’orientation sexuelle est désormais répréhensible et même passible de prison.
— Jean-Luc Romero-Michel (@JeanLucRomero) February 9, 2021
But that’s not all, the country’s lawmakers also added anti-discrimination laws in the penal code update. The new law places protections for Angolan citizens against discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Francisco Queiroz, the Minister of Justice and Human Rights, noted at the time that the change was “aligned with the most modern solutions at the international level.”
Queiroz then added: “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.”