Turning point

Homosexuality decriminalized in Mozambique, but LGBT activists still face long battle

In Mozambique, a new penal code erasing a colonial-era anti-gay law that could be used to condemn a person “who habitually engages in vices against nature” to three years’ hard labor, was met with cautious praise from LGBT activists. Scrapping the law was a largely symbolic gesture, as no one has been prosecuted for homosexuality since the country gained independence 40 years ago.  “We do welcome it but we don’t actually see it as something that will bring a change for how LGBT people live in Mozambique,” said Carina Capitine, spokesperson for the country’s only gay rights organization, Lambda, which lobbied for the change. While Mozambique is known for having more relaxed social attitudes than other African countries, Lambda has been fighting for seven years to gain recognition from the government. The organization provides counseling, legal assistance and health advice, and registration would mean access to funding and tax exemption status. “That is the battle we have next,” Capitine said. “A lot of people are asking about marriage or adoption but we can’t think about that yet. Our registration is the key thing for us. We haven’t heard much but we are all pushing and believe we will have it soon.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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