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Gabon Decriminalizes Gays & Lesbians

By Charlotte Robinson, July 08, 2020
Gabon the country along the Atlantic coast of Central Africa has voted to decriminalize gay & lesbian relations with a vote of 59 in favor, 17 against & 4 abstentions. Unlike numerous countries across the African continent Gabon did not have a colonial-era ban on gay & lesbian relations but had introduced a ban in 2019 criminalizing same-gender relations between both men & women. This ban has now been reversed. The reversal of the ban has been met with controversy & a strong backlash from religious leaders & others leading to mounting hate speech & driving LGBTQ activists & people into hiding for fear of retaliation. Jessica Stern Executive Director of OutRight Action International stated, “We commend both Houses of Parliament of Gabon on repealing a ban on same-sex relations. It is shocking that over a third of the world's countries continue to criminalize same-sex love, in stark contrast to basic human dignity & international human rights standards. The decision in Gabon decreases the total number of countries criminalizing same-sex relations by one. This is not only an affirmation of the right of LGBTIQ people in Gabon to love whom they choose, but also an inspiration to activists in countries in which these bans still exist or are being considered. We hope to see authorities in Gabon take steps to reduce hate speech & promote acceptance of its LGBTIQ citizens.” OutRight Action International works at a global, regional & national level to eradicate the persecution, inequality & violence LGBTQ people face around the world. OutRight has recognized consultative status at the United Nations.
For More Info: outrightinternational.org
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