The Human Dignity Trust offers heartfelt congratulations to activists, legislators and government in Mozambique; their commitment to ensuring that the rights of the LGBT community in their country are no longer sacrificed for the sake of outdated and persecutory laws means that the list of countries where it is a crime to be gay has gone down to 78. Although this figure tells us that there is still work to be done in many jurisdictions, we nonetheless celebrate every hard-won victory for human rights. Confirmation that Mozambique has decriminalised homosexuality is fantastic news.

Earlier, President Armando Guebuza on 18 December 2014 signed into law a revised penal code bill. This replaces a penal code that was in effect since the Portuguese colonial rule in late 19th century.

Though an official copy of the new legislation is not yet available, previous drafts of the bill did not contain provisions criminalising same-sex sexual conduct between consenting adults.

This had been reported by two local civil society organisations:

  • The Mozambique based WLSA (Women and Law in Southern Africa) have released a report confirming decriminalisation in Mozambique: WLSA also reported on the passage of the bill on 19 December 2014.
  • Earlier, in early July 2014, a new penal code was passed by the Mozambique National Assembly. Darius de Sousa – a member of a local LGBT organisation (LAMBDA) – spoke to the press confirming that the provision criminalising same-sex sexual conduct between consenting adults had been removed.

The Mozambique Parliament website (http://www.parlamento.mz ) contains an earlier copy of the revised penal code (REVISÃO DO CÓDIGO PENAL).

 

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