The decriminalisation, seen as a major victory for gay rights groups in Africa, now places Mozambique within a minority of African countries where homosexuality is not punishable by law.

Even though homosexuality-related acts were punishable by up to three years of hard labour, no known prosecutions took place in the country after independence in 1975.  According to EWN, the penal code dates back to 1886.

This event almost coincides with the nationwide legalisation of same sex marriage in the US, as ordered by the country’s Supreme Court last week.

Mozambique is also burdened by another bizarre colonial-era law which, for all intents and purposes, permits rape within marriage. Interpreted in another way, the law also exonerates rapists who marry their victims after the act.