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Gabon has officially decriminalised same-sex relations

It was a landslide victory for the LGBTQ community in the Central African nation

By Thomas Stichbury

Gabon has officially decriminalised gay sex in a landslide victory for the LGBTQ community in the Central African nation.

On Monday night, the Senate of Gabon voted in favour of reversing the ruling against same-sex relations, with 59 votes in favour, 17 against and four abstentions.

The first steps towards supporting LGBTQ rights were made last week by the lower house of Parliament.

Under a 2019 law, Gabon was one of 73 countries or jurisdictions around the world – more than two dozen of which are in Africa – that criminalise homosexual acts.

Human rights campaign Peter Tatchell welcomed the reversal.

“This is a magnificent victory for LGBT+ people in Gabon and across Africa. It bucks the trend in many African nations, like Nigeria and Uganda, where the repression of LGBT+ communities has intensified in recent years,” he said.

“Coming on top of Angola’s decriminalisation last year, it will give hope to the many brave LGBT+ campaigners throughout Africa that they can eventually win,” Peter continued, adding:  “This still leaves 72 countries and jurisdictions where same-sex relations remain a crimes, including 10 countries that have the death penalty for homosexuality.”