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Seychelles vote to decriminalise homosexuality

By Fabio Crispim

Politicians in the African island of the Seychelles have voted to repeal a law that punishes gay sex between men with up to 14 years in prison.

The vote took place on International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) and the move was proposed by the president, James Michel, who wanted the law to change in order to allow “all persons” to be free from discrimination.

Muthoni Wanyei, the Amnesty international Regional Director for East Africa spoke to Gay Star News about the largely symbolic move, saying it will help encourage equality and tolerance across the country.

“Even though the Seychelles have not prosecuted anyone, laws like this opens up members of the gay community to extortion. We often hear tales of men being lured into a sexual relationship and being threatened.

“The move by the Seychelles will hopefully inspire others. This will give the gay community leverage, it is another example of an African state being progressive on these issues and moving forward.”

The law is expected to be formally repealed by the end of 2016.

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