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Gabon’s Parliament Votes To Decriminalise Homosexuality



The National Assembly of Gabon has voted to repeal the law that criminalised homosexual activities in the country.

The legislators in the lower house of the country’s parliament had just a year ago passed a ban on homosexual activities which gave six months jail term and a hefty fine to people engaging in same-sex acts.

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Forty-eight members of the 120-seater parliament approved the proposal initiated by the country’s government.

Twenty-four parliamentarians voted against the law with a further twenty-five abstaining from the vote.

The new law now awaits the Senate’s (upper house) consideration. If it garners majority vote from the 102-seater senate, it will pass to the president for his assent.

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The central African country criminalised homosexuality last July and made gay sex punishable with six months in prison and a large fine.

Gay activists revealed that the law pushed the LGBT community into further obscurity after fears police would use it to harass them.

One conservative parliamentarian decried the desecration of the country’s customs and traditions if the law comes into force.

A majority of countries in Africa have laws that prohibits homosexual activities. Thus gay rights on the continent remains highly restricted.

South Africa is the only African country to allow same-sex marriage while only a handful have repealed colonial laws that criminalised homosexual activities.

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It has since been decriminalised in Angola, Botswana, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Lesotho, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe, the Seychelles and South Africa.