The I has been dotted and the T has been crossed. Gabon has formally decriminalised consensual same-sex sexual relations, becoming one of the few countries in sub-Saharan Africa to do so.
The Gabonese Senate on June 29 approved a bill to repeal a 2019 law that criminalised same-sex relationships by a maximum penalty of six months in prison and a 5 million Central African CFA franc ($8,561) fine.
President Ali Bongo Ondimba has now signed the repeal measure into law.
“I applaud the collective decision by Gabon’s parliament, government and president to decriminalize same-sex sexual relations,” said UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima in a press release. “By doing so, Gabon is righting a grave injustice inflicted on the LGBTI community in the country.”
The initial proposal to legalize LGBT+ relationships was approved in the lower house of the Gabonese Parliament on June 24.