The Mozambique, situated in southern Africa, will officially be added to the list of countries with no law against same-sex relations as from 29th June this year.
Legislators specifically revised the penal code that allowed ‘security measures’ to be taken against people ‘who habitually engage in vices against nature’. A clause used to discriminate against and prosecute LGBTI people. Punishment could have been up to 3 years in ta workhouse. However, officials say this was done rarely it was considered by many to be a meaningless clause in the statute books.
Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique said:
The new Penal Code sweeps away a great deal of the musty colonial legacy, including the mention of “vices against nature” Now not even the most contorted of arguments could claim that acts of gay sex between consenting adults are somehow illegal.”
Lambda, the country’s LGBTI rights group, has pushed for the government to fully recognize same-sex relationships. While gay sex may be legal come the end of June, this does not mean LGBTI people are guaranteed equality.
Our primary interest is to precipitate a change in society so that it becomes more favourable to the free expression of sexual orientation and gender identity. The silence of the Mozambican state legitimises discrimination and strengthens the stigma to which LGBT people are subject in the communities, workplaces, schools, etc.
Above all, it perpetuates the idea that LGBTI citizens are less important than all other Mozambicans, thus placing them in a situation of inferiority, disadvantage and inequality.”
In the past, Joaquim Chissano, president of Mozambique, has pleaded for African leaders to be respectful of the human rights of sexual minorities and move away from discriminating against them.
Chissano, the current co-chair of the High-Level Task Force for the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) made the comments in an open letter published by The Africa Report as African leaders finalise a document that will replace the United Nations Millennium Development Goals for Africa after 2015.