Lawmakers in Gabon have voted to decriminalize homosexuality. The action was taken at the lower house of parliament.
There were Forty-eight members of parliament who backed the proposal to change the Gabon’s law on homosexuality.
The proposal currently before lawmakers is seeking to lift a ban placed on homosexual activities in the Central African nation.
In 2019 Gabon criminalized homosexuality and made gay sex punishable with six months in prison and a large fine.
The Penal Code which criminalized homosexual relation between consenting adults allowed for a potential penalty of imprisonment up to 6 months and/or a fine of up to 5 million CFA francs.
There were however some level of opposition to the proposed amendment in the parliament.
Twenty-four MPs voted against, while 25 others abstained from voting on the matter.
Gabon’s latest move makes it one of the very few African countries to reverse its law that punishes sexual relations between people of the same sex.
The latest move though doesn’t allow persons engaged in homosexual acts to get married.
Just like in many African countries, homosexuality is still broadly seen as a social taboo in Gabon.
In recent years several a few African countries have moved to decriminalize the mere act of engaging in homosexual activities or being perceived to be one.
Not many African countries are inclined to allowing people of the same sex to marry.