Photo Credit: Michael Nagle (Ali Bongo Ondimba, President of Gabon)
The fight to legalize same sex relations in Gabon has been a battle since July of last year. On Monday the National Assembly approved their government's claim that same-sex activity should be legal in their country. It was then motioned by the Senate and will be signed by their President, Ali Bongo Ondimba.
According to Human Dignity Trust, there are 21 out of 54 countries that criminalize LGBT relations in Africa. Gabon's punishments included up to six months imprisonment and a fine of 5 million, which the FCFA equates to 8, 568.20 U.S. dollars. Countries like Nigeria, Sudan and Somalia LGBT community can receive the death penalty. In Tanzania and Uganda, laws against same sex relations still have a life sentence.
Neela Ghoshal, a researcher with Human Rights Watch can still can see positivity coming from Africa.
"It's unfortunate that a lot of African countries have claimed and owned those homophobic, colonial values, but others haven't. In general, across the continent, things are moving more in the right direction than in the wrong direction ... I'm guessing you'll see a lot of change in the next 10 years or so," said Ghoshal to AllAfrica.
Gay and lesbian travelers to Africa are advised to be on the look out. Public displays of affection should generally be avoided. The most gay-friendly African country is usually considered to be South Africa, stated by Eager Journey's.
List Of LGBT Friendly Countries In Africa
Democratic Republic Of Congo
Sao Tome and Principe
Central African Republic