A former British colony, the Seychelles adopted Britain's penal code in 1955, criminalizing same-sex activities between men. As it stands today, the law makes homosexuality an offense punishable by up to 14 years in prison, although the government insists that no one has ever been formally prosecuted. However, the government of the small African archipelago nation has announced its intentions to overturn the ban before the end of the year.
In his state of the union address this year, President James Michel expressed his desire to see homosexuality decriminalized, an aim in line with his efforts to speed up reform within the country of 93,000 since his recent reelection. On Monday, Seychelle's cabinet of ministers agreed to repeal the discriminatory law, according to local media. Attorney General Ronny Govinden will now draw up the text for a bill that will be presented to the legislature in the coming weeks.
The move is also expected to ease the country's interactions on the public stage. Seychelles News Agency reports Govinden saying:
"It is a priority for the country [to decriminalize homosexuality] because whenever the Seychelles is participating in an international convention... we face pressures from other countries who are asking us to remove this law."