Why Did Angola Decriminalize Homosexuality?

Within the past decades, many African countries including Nigeria, Benin, Central African Republic, Sudan, Mauritania, Somalia and Angola criminalized homosexuality. Homosexuality is feloniously illegal in over 30 African countries as of early 2019. Some criminal penalties in Africa for homosexuality include life in prison and death sentences. In 2019, after 133 years of banning same-sex sexual relations, Angola government changed the law. The government removed the “Vices against nature” clause that sent homosexuals to prison and also banned discrimination against homosexuals.

Why Did Angola Decriminalize Homosexuality?

There has been increased foreign pressure across Africa for better homosexuality rights. Former President of The United States, Barack Obama once gave a speech in Kenya supporting acceptance of homosexuality. Many activists and organizations in support of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights have increased lobbybing activities across the continent. Lawmakers in Angola voted in favor of decriminalizing homosexuality. “Politicians probably noticed it was time to change the penal code and update it to reflect our times,” Neela Ghoshal of the international human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) said.

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