Angola recently passed a law to decriminalize homosexual relationships, according to reports this new law supersedes a Portuguese colonial-era constitution that labeled same-sex relations as a ‘vice against nature.’

The parliament of Angola passed the bill in January 2019 and sent it to President João Lourenço who then signed the bill into law in November 2020.

According to a report by Out.com, this new law prohibits anyone in Angola to discriminate against anyone based on sexual orientation.

After gaining its independence in 1975, Angola inherited from its former colonial masters – Portugal, a penal code that encouraged discrimination against the LGBTQ society.

Although the previous law that somehow encouraged discrimination against same-sex relations did not have the required ammunition to prosecute and imprison offenders.

However, the new law has enough firepower and carries a jail sentence of up to two years for those found guilty of discrimination against sexual orientation.

Iris, an LGBTQ+ advocacy group in Angola that was given legal recognition in 2018 hailed the move as a historic progression from colonialism.

The leader of Iris Carlos Fernandes welcomed the abolition of a 133-year-old law saying: “I think there’s now a legal framework to go after homophobic crimes,” he told DW.

While former minister of justice Francisco Queiroz said the new law was a reflection of the current Angolan socio-cultural landscape.

“This is an act of sovereignty by the Angolan State which, after 134 years of being governed in the criminal and criminal fields, with a code that has been in force since 1886, from the colonial administration, now has the penal code totally inspired by political reality, legal, cultural and social Angolan,” Francisco Queiroz said.

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