World Gabon decriminalizes homosexuality

07:25  30 june  2020
07:25  30 june  2020 Source:   rfi.fr

Gabon decriminalizes homosexuality

 Gabon decriminalizes homosexuality Gabon becomes one of the rare countries in sub-Saharan Africa to reverse a law that punishes sexual relations between people of the same sex. © Provided by Franceinfo The legislators of the lower house of the Gabonese parliament voted on June 23, 2020 to decriminalize homosexuality. Forty-eight MPs voted for decriminalization, twenty-four voted against and twenty-five abstained.

Gabon 's lawmakers have voted to officially decriminalize homosexuality , France24 reported. On Tuesday, the country's National Assembly voted in favor of revising a law that criminalized

Homosexuality was actually legal in Gabon from independence in 1960 until July 2019, when it was criminalised. It has now again been decriminalised .

Une vue de Libreville au Gabon (image d'illustration) © Getty Images A view of Libreville in Gabon (illustration image)

After the National Assembly, the Senate adopted by an absolute majority the very controversial bill on the decriminalization of l 'homosexuality. 59 senators voted for, 17 voted against and 4 abstained. It’s a victory for some, a sad day for others.

With our correspondent in Libreville, Yves-Laurent Goma

Prime Minister Julien Nkoghe Bekalé was present in the hemicycle to motivate senators to vote in favor of his bill. The opposition did everything to prevent the text from being voted on. Pain lost: the Gabonese Democratic Party (in power), with its absolute majority, bombed the chest. The text was voted by a large majority.

Henceforth paragraph 5 of article 402 of the Criminal Code in force since July 2019 is withdrawn. This article authorized the justice to sentence to six months in prison and a fine of 5 million FCFA any citizen convicted of homosexuality.

"Today you have done useful work," said the Prime Minister thanking senators for "this historic vote."

The main opponent, Jean Ping, denounced a maneuver "aimed at aggravating the chaos and causing stigmatization of Gabon internationally". "I am very proud of Gabon," exhilarated Stephen Jackson, the UN representative in the country.

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