Angola is believed to be the first country to have decriminalised homosexuality in 2019, meaning its 29 million inhabitants are free to love whoever they want.

The southern African country has scrapped the “vices against nature” provision in its colonial-era penal code, which had been interpreted as a ban on gay sex, reports Human Rights Watch.



The government has also introduced legislation prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

Angola introduces discrimination protections for LGB people

Angola’s decriminalisation of homosexuality came into force on Wednesday (January 23) as the country adopted its first new penal code since getting independence from Portugal in 1975.

There are no known prosecutions of LGBT+ people under Angola’s former law.

Angola is considered to be one of the more socially-accepting countries of LGBT+ people in Africa.

A 2017 poll carried out by ILGA found that 61 percent of Angolans believed that LGB people should enjoy the same rights as heterosexual people.

A further 65 percent agreed that LGB individuals should be protected from workplace discrimination.

“Here’s some good news to brighten up your day. Angola has just decriminalised homosexuality.”

—Twitter user

Some 63 percent of Angolans surveyed said that trans people should have some rights.

69 countries in the world still criminalise consensual gay sex, including 34 out of 54 nations in Africa.

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Angola joins a number of countries in recent years to legalise gay sex through legislative reform.

Other nations to do so include Seychelles (2016), Palau (2014), Nauru (2016), and Lesotho (2012).

Two former Portuguese colonies, Sao Tome and Principe and Cape Verde, also decriminalised homosexuality through legal reform in 2012 and 2004 respectively.

Gay rights campaigners praise Angola for decriminalising gay sex

LGBT+ campaigners and allies took to Twitter to praise Angola for decriminalising homosexuality.

One person wrote: “Here’s some good news to brighten up your day.

“Angola has just decriminalised homosexuality.”

Another said: “We can now Travel to Angola 😭😭😭😭🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈 Well done & Congrats to my Brothers & sisters in Angola.

“We need more countries to change.”

And a third posted: “Angola have abolished a colonial-era law that criminalised and victimised LGBTQ+ people.”




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