Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Mozambique scraps homosexuality ban

29 June 2015, 13:58

Maputo - Mozambique decriminalised homosexuality on Monday when a new penal code came into force that swept away old Portuguese colonial laws, in a victory for campaigners for gay rights in Africa.

The old code, dating back to 1886, targeted anyone "who habitually engages in vices against nature" -- but no known prosecutions took place after Mozambique became independent in 1975.

Breaking the law was theoretically punishable by up to three years of hard labour.

"It's a symbolic victory, as social inclusion remains the main challenge," Frank, a student gay rights activist who declined to give his full name, told AFP.

The new penal code, which was announced last December by then president Armando Guebuza, also decriminalises abortion after lobbying by civil rights organisations.

The code came into force on Monday, though no official events or celebrations were scheduled to mark the occasion.

The majority of African countries outlaw homosexuality, but Mozambique has seen little anti-gay violence or social friction over the issue.

Dercio Tsandzana, an influential blogger and activist, said there had been an absence of public discussion over homosexual rights.

"The government instead abides by the external pressure put by some embassies and foreign donors," he said.

"Most Mozambicans don't deny homosexuality, but one can't say either that it is accepted."

Despite a seven-year campaign, the Mozambican government has not officially recognised Lambda, the only gay rights organisation in the country.

In neighbouring Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe is known for his crusades against homosexuality, and discrimination is widespread across the continent.

Homosexuality is punishable by death in Sudan, Nigeria and Mauritania.

In New York, hundreds of thousands of people attended the annual Gay Pride march on Sunday after the US Supreme Court legalised same-sex marriage.

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Mudavadi given permission to join...

Musalia Mudavadi has been ghranted permission by his party to join the CORD Coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
EACC officers raid Deputy Governo...

EACC officers raided the home of a Deputy Governor as theft case continues in court. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
New IEBC bosses to be named Novem...

New IEBC bosses will be named on November 30. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
DP Ruto has spoilt my name, activ...

DP William Ruto has spoilt my name, activist complains. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Apologise for attack on Auditor G...

Apologise for attack on Auditor General, President Uhuru Kenyatta is told by Kisumu Senator Anyang Nyong'o. Read more...