Angola made a historic move to protect its LGBTQ citizens.

The south-west African country instituted a new penal code removing the “vices against nature” rule, reports Human Rights Watch. Additionally, those who discriminate against LGBTQ people face up to two years in prison.

This is the first penal code Angola has adopted since the nation gained independence from Portugal in 1975. The vices law was a leftover from colonial rule. Last year, Angola granted legal status to Iris Angola, an LGBTQ rights organization. Iris is understandably pleased by this development, reports OkayAfrica.

"We're turning the page for gay citizens who now have a body that is recognized by the state which gives more weight to the work of our organization,” Carlos Fernandes, a member of Iris Angola, said.

Angola follows the lead of several African countries including Mozambique, Cape Verde, Seychelles, Lesotho and Sao Tome and Principe.

Unfortunately, there are still 69 countries with anti-LGBTQ legislation and taboos.

Egyptian television personality Mohammed el-Gheiti was recently sentenced to one year in prison for interviewing a gay man, reports News24. There isn’t an official law against homosexuality in Egypt, but it isn’t uncommon for LGBTQ people to be arrested for “debauchery.”

Tanzania was sanctioned by the European Union and the World Bank when one of its governors, Paul Makonda, vowed to hunt down members of the LGBTQ community to enforce the country’s LGBTQ ban, reports Daily Nation. Makonda urged citizens to report suspects, and several HIV clinics closed after they were accused of promoting homosexuality, according to BBC.

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