Bill To Decriminalise H.o.m.o.s.e.x.u.a.l.i.t.y Makes Headway In Gabon
A bill to decriminalise h.o.m.o.s.e.x.u.a.l activity is making headway in Gabon, where such contact has been banned for nearly a year.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
The central African country’s National Assembly voted late Tuesday to adopt an amendment to criminal legislation to remove a paragraph which prohibits “s.e.x.u.a.l relations between persons of the same s.e.x”, a source close to parliament confirmed to AFP on Wednesday.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
The text had been introduced by the Senate, the upper house, into a draft law in July 2019.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
It stipulated that having h.o.m.o.s.e.x.u.a.l relations in Gabon was considered “an offence against morality”, punishable by up to six months in prison and a fine of five million CFA francs ($8,600, 7,600 euros).(Wapbaze_Copyright)
On Tuesday, “48 deputies voted in favour of decriminalisation, 24 against and 25 abstained,” the source told AFP.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
For the bill to be passed, the text must still be adopted in the same terms by the Senate.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
The criminalisation of h.o.m.o.s.e.x.u.a.l.i.t.y had gone almost unnoticed in this country of less than two million inhabitants when it was adopted last year.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
The amendment voted by the National Assembly on Tuesday, meanwhile, caused a stir in the local press and on social media networks on Wednesday.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
H.o.m.o.s.e.x.u.a.l.i.t.y is widely criminalised in sub-Saharan Africa, with more than half of its countries banning or repressing h.o.m.o.s.e.x.u.a.l relations in a few places, with the threat of the death penalty.
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