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Gabon signs pro gay rights bill into law, citizens react

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The senate in Gabon have backed a pro gay law for homosexual people in the Central African country. The development has sparked wide outrage from different quarters. The final step of the bill becoming fully functional is the president’s assent to the bill.

Most of the disapproval is coming from the cultural and religious polity, they have expressed disgust over a law which they say the country does not need at all, saying that the law will have adverse future consequences.

“We need life in Gabon and we know that homosexuality is a gateway to aids, it’s another pandemic, and in the midst of the pandemic, there were other emergencies to deal with than making a spectacle of ourselves in front of the whole of humanity.

“However, future generations will recognise that their fathers said no to decriminalisation. We are in favour of a culture of life,” one such agitator said.

Meanwhile, those who are in favour of the law insist that it is a step in the direction of bringing equal rights to all people of Gabon. “People’s honour and dignity must be respected, and this situation, this new position of the Gabonese parliamentarians, the representatives of the people, leads me to welcome this decision.”

The Senate voted to decriminalise homosexuality, backing a vote by the lower house of parliament. This caused outcry from conservatives that believed it was against local social and religious norms.

The new law made the amendment to criminal legislation to remove a paragraph prohibiting “sexual relations between persons of the same sex.”

The criminalisation of homosexuality became law last year and went almost unnoticed in a country of less than two million inhabitants.

Homosexuality is widely criminalised and resented in sub-Saharan Africa, with over half of its countries criminalising homosexual relations – in a few places, with the threat of the death penalty.

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