Tag Archives: Mozambique

These 6 Countries Are Making Big Strides With LGBT Rights

Across the world, LGBT people face different challenges to their non-LGBT peers. This may be the risk of being fired from your job, being ostracised by your friends and family and even being faced with verbal or physical abuse.

Clearly there is a lot of work that still needs to be done, but with the changing attitudes of LGBT people, some countries are making huge strides.

A new report from The Guardian details some of these steps forward, and the publication also speaks to activists about the positive changes coming to their countries.

Taiwan has a reputation for being the most ‘gay-friendly place in Asia’ and though Victoria Hsu, chief executive officer of the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights calls this an “illusion”, there is big change on a government level.

The country’s newly elected president, Tsai Ing-Wen, supports same-sex marriage and same-sex couples can record their partnerships at household offices in Taipei, giving them access to more rights. Hsu and other activities are currently lobbying for social housing rights, equal opportunities for government employees and more.

Elsewhere in Asia, Nepal recently allowed people to add a third gender, O, to their passports, as opposed to M or F and in September, it added LGBT protections to its constitution.

Meanwhile, in Vietnam, same-sex marriage is “tolerated” by the state (though same-sex couples don’t have the same rights as opposite sex ones) and in December, a law was passed to allow people who have had reassignment surgery to register as a new gender.

In the Americas, The Guardian highlights big changes in Jamaica and Colombia. A historically, homophobic country (which stems from colonial times), Jamaica still has a law against sodomy but this year, activist Maurice Tomlinson will challenge that law in court.

The country’s justice minister, Mark Golding, and the mayor of Kingston, Angela Brown Burke, have both voiced their support for Pride events. On the other hand, Colombia may be an incredibly Catholic country but its government has voiced its support for marriage equality and late last year, it lifted restrictions on same-sex couples adopting children.

And finally, in 2015, Mozambique decriminalised homosexuality. There are still serious challenges posed LGBT people in the African nation though, as the country’s only gay rights organisation, Lambda, has been waiting for seven years for recognition fro the government (which will give them access to funding and allow them to be tax exempt).

Same-Sex Relations to be De-Criminalised in Mozambique

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.