Friday, July 3, 2015


The Mozambican gay community has declared its wish for Mozambique “to become a world reference in defence of the fundamental rights and freedoms of each and every one of us”.The NGO which fights for the rights of Mozambican sexual minorities, Lambda, in a declaration published on Friday. celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Day (28 June), recalled that Mozambique has just marked the 40th anniversary of its independence, and that the founders of the nation dreamed and fought for a country free from discrimination.
“All forms of discrimination should be repudiated and are an assault against freedom, the great theme of our revolution”, said the Lambda statement. “While there is any person oppressed, peace will never be genuine, and freedom will be a vain word in the dictionary”.Lambda’s desire, it continued, is that “above all we can be proud of being children of this motherland that embraces all of us with open arms as its sons and daughters”.Lambda also took the opportunity to clarify the question of the country’s new Penal Code, approved by the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, last year. Media across the world have claimed that the Code decriminalizes homosexuality. This is not quite accurate, since homosexuality was never defined as criminal behavior in Mozambique. It seems that Portuguese colonial legislators were too squeamish to mention gay sex by name.The colonial Penal Code did, however, contain articles providing for “security measures” to be taken against anyone practicing “vices against nature”. Since these were not defined, jurists to whom AIM has spoken believe that it would have been impossible to implement these articles in a court of law.
Resultado de imagem para lambdas moçambiqueNonetheless, Lambda believed that the very existence of these articles constituted “a factor of uncertainty” for gay people, even though the courts never sentenced anybody to “security measures” for being gay. Since Mozambican independence in 1975, nobody has been prosecuted because of his or her sexual orientation.Lamba notes that “accused of being outside of the law, countless LGBT people were victims of ill-treatment, or even attempts at extortion”.
But the new Penal Code has swept away all mention of “vices against nature”, and there is nothing in the text that can be interpreted as banning homosexuality.“By revoking these articles, Mozambique is beginning to put itself on the right side of the history of humanity”, says the Lambda statement. “We are inaugurating a new era, an era of respect for equality, which means, accepting, respecting and protecting differences. Our recently built democratic edifice needs men and women of all races and ages, physical and financial conditions, and of all sexual orientations”.Lambda’s main campaign has been to demand recognition from the Ministry of Justice as a legitimate association. It has sought recognition for almost eight years, so far without success.Under the country’s laws, any group of ten or more Mozambican citizens, over the age of 18, can form an association, and legal registration should not take more than 45 days. To avoid giving any reason for turning down Lambda’s repeated requests, the Ministry of Justice has simply failed to reply to them.

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