Angola has legalized gay sex, getting rid of its “vices against nature” provision from a colonial-era penal code, becoming the first country in 2019 to do so, reported Human Rights Watch.

The African country adopted its first new penal code since gaining its independence from Portugal in 1975 on Wednesday (January 23), where the provision was removed. While there were no known prosecutions of gay sex under the law, “provisions like this one curtail the rights and freedoms of LGBT people, subjecting their intimate lives to unwarranted scrutiny,” says Human Rights Watch.

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The government also criminalized discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Doing so can result in up to two years jail time.

According to a poll done by ILGA, the majority of Angolans support the country’s LGBTQ community. 61 percent said that LGB individuals should have the same rights as heterosexual people, with 63 percent saying the same for trans people. 65 percent also agreed that there should be protections for LGBTQ people against discrimination in the workplace.

According to PinkNews, 69 countries remain that criminalize consensual gay sex.

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