Mozambique has held its first ever seminar on gay rights.

Yesterday, Mozambican Human Rights League (LDH) chairperson Alice Mabota urged Mozambique’s gay and lesbian citizens to organise and fight for their rights.

She said that, while the LDH will support gay rights, it is not campaigning specific issues such as the legalisation of gay marriage, and that it would be up to the gay community to raise such a demand.

A Mozambican gay rights activist suggested that the movement should concentrate on removing any clause from the country’s laws that might be used to criminalise gays, and to introduce measures that ban discrimination on the base of sexual orientation, in the same ways as discrimination on the grounds of race, sex, religion or ethnic group is already outlawed.

He added that gay rights were often dismissed as irrelevant, because Mozambican society had more pressing issues to deal with, such as the fight against hunger.

He did not call for gay marriage, but suggested “gradual recognition of the rights of gay partners living in de facto unions”.