Gabon’s Lawmakers Voted To End The Ban On Gay Sex

Photo by lloyd jr on Unsplash

Another African country has now announced its support of LGBTQ rights.

According to Reuters, Gabon’s Parliament voted to overturn the ban on gay sex within its country. Last week, the National Assembly (lower chamber) voted to revoke the ban, and the Senate (upper chamber) voted to do the same this Monday. With that vote, Jessye Ella Ekogha, a special adviser to Gabon’s President Bombo, noted the measure “was adopted with a large majority of 59 votes.” But there was some opposition as 17 lawmakers voted to keep the ban and 4 abstained. Meanwhile, the National Assembly saw a 48 to 24 vote.

But will President Bombo follow through with the Parliament’s wishes? Based on his wife, it’s looking likely. After Parliament announced their vote in support of ending the ban, French-born Sylvia Bongo expressed her approval of the vote and change. She praised the vote as “restoring a fundamental human right for its citizens: that of loving, freely, without being condemned.”

LGBTQ rights organizations across the globe have also praised Parliament’s decision, according to Pride. Pan Africa ILGA says the announcement is “a positive move for the region and should serve as an example” for other African nations.

But what law is being opposed? Unlike many other African nations, this is not a British colonial-era law at the center of debates or arguments. Instead, Gabon enacted revisions to its Penal Code in 2019 which included a portion criminalizing gay sex between consenting adults. The law update threatened a penalty of imprisonment up to six months and/or a fine of up to 5 million CFA francs (approximately $ 8,561.64).

Thankfully, that looks like that threat will no longer be the case in due time.


Source: Reuters, Pride

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