Photo courtesy of Lambda
One of the most tolerant African countries in regards to homosexuality, Mozambique will mark a major milestone on June 29, when homosexuality becomes legal.
The criminalization of homosexuality —characterized as "vices against nature"— in the country stemmed from Portuguese colonial rule. In December 2014, former President Armando Guebuza signed a revised penal code into law, giving it 180 days to come into effect.
While technically punishable by up to three years hard labor, LGBT people were rarely prosecuted. This move brings Mozambique in line with the 20 other African nations that either allow for homosexuality, or do not legislate against it.
In the remaining 35 countries, homosexuality is illegal, and punishable by death in Sudan, Nigeria, and Mauritania.
According to Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique:
"The new Penal Code sweeps away a great deal of the musty colonial legacy, including the mention of 'vices against nature.'"
"Now not even the most contorted of arguments could claim that acts of gay sex between consenting adults are somehow illegal."
Lambda, the LGBT legal organization in the country, has celebrated the new law, but insists that much remains to be done before the country's LGBT population see true equality.
(H/T Gay Star News)