The rainbow rises in Angola as it became the latest African country to decriminalize same-sex relationships.
Angola used to have a penal code that criminalized same-sex sexual activities, which is a remnant of its colonial past. The African nation that was a former Portugese colony used to condemn same-sex sexual relationships as one of multiple “vices against nature.” As a result, gay people faced prison sentences of at least 14 years.
The new penal code that eliminated the anti-LGBTQIA provision was made in 2019, with the country’s president signing it into the law in November 2020. It officially took effect on February 9.
In addition to decriminalizing same-sex relationships, the new penal code also prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. Those who violate the law may be jailed for a minimum of two years.
According to International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), same-sex sexual acts continue to be a taboo subject in almost all West African countries, including in Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Benin, where the existence of LGBTIA people is still denied.