Mozambique has become one of the most gay countries in Africa – here’s why.
After getting rid of the last remnants of the colonial past Mozambique has become one of the most gay-friendly countries in Africa overnight. Mozambican government has decided to abolish Portuguese colonial penal code, dating back to 1886, thus decriminalising homosexuality, as the new laws come into force.
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Old laws punished anyone “who habitually engages in vices against nature” by up to three years of hard labour. Nevertheless, since gaining independence in 1975, not a single person has been prosecuted according to that law.
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Along with homosexuality the new penal code also decriminalises abortion. Now women in Mozambique can decide to end a pregnancy until the 12th week, and in case of rape or threats to the mother’s life the new laws allow it until the 16th week.
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Thus, Mozambique joined the family of gay-friendly African nations, now consisting of Burkina-Faso, Chad, The Democratic Republic of the Congo and The Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Madagaskar, Mali, Niger and Rwanda where homosexual contacts have never been criminalised. Nevertheless, the only country in Africa where same-sex marriages are legal is South Africa.
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At the same time, Mauritania, Sudan, Somalia and twelve northern states in Nigeria punish homosexuals with death.
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