LGBT rights in Angola

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LGBT rights in Angola
Same-sex sexual activity legal status Illegal[1]
Discrimination protections Yes, for sexual orientation (employment only)
Family rights
Recognition of

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights in Angola have seen some improvement in the early half of the twenty-first century. Angolan law prohibits "acts against nature", though this law has seldom been enforced. In February 2017, the National Assembly preliminarily approved a new penal code, which does not outlaw consenting same-sex sexual activity. It awaits final vote. Additionally, since 2015, employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation has been banned.

Some NGOs in Angola, that are working on AIDS-HIV education, are beginning to work with the LGBT community, and there are no reports of LGBT people being specifically targeted for harassment in Angola by police or vigilante groups.

Laws regarding same-sex sexual acts

Articles 70 and 71 of the Penal Code of 1886 contains a vaguely worded prohibition against public immorality and acts considered "against nature".[2]

In February 2017, the Angolan Parliament preliminarily approved a draft of new penal code, in a unanimous 125-0 vote with 36 abstentions. The new Penal Code does not contain provisions outlawing same-sex sexual activity in private.[2][3][4][5] A final vote on the bill was planned for 28 June 2017, but was postponed.[6] Under the new Code, the age of consent would be 14 regardless of sexual orientation.

Recognition of same-sex relationships

There is no legal recognition of same-sex couples in Angola.[7]

In general, significant social pressure is put on people to marry a suitable partner of the opposite sex and have children.[8]

In 2005, the unofficial commitment ceremony of a same-sex couple was treated as "shameless" and "abominable" in the national news magazines.[9]

Constitutional rights

LGBT citizens were not expressly mentioned in the previous Constitution, ratified in 1992. The new Constitution of 2010 does make some general provisions concerning human rights, freedom, equality and tolerance that may apply to all citizens, irrespective of sexual orientation or gender identity. For example, the Constitution stipulates that the Government will work to secure equal rights and opportunities for all citizens, irrespective of, among other things, "any other form of discrimination".[10]

Discrimination protections

LGBT flag map of Angola

The General Labour Law (7/15) which came into effect on 15 September 2015, prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, among other categories.[11][12]

Article 197 of the new Penal Code, approved by Parliament in February 2017, would forbid discrimination based on sexual orientation in the provision of goods and services.[2][3]


In the 1920s, a German anthropologist named Kurt Falk published his research on African tribes, which included some acceptance of bisexuality.[13] Yet, this is not the norm within contemporary Angola.

Prevailing social attitudes about sexual orientation tend to reflect traditional Catholic and Protestant values concerning human sexuality and gender roles. These values and mores do shape public policy.

Some LGBT people in Angola have reported being harassed by people who believe that they are immoral, and the Angola Government allegedly refused to accept the Israeli ambassador because he was gay. Yet, signs of more liberal attitudes do exist.

Some LGBT Angolans have reported being verbally and physical harassed by people who believe that they are immoral,[8] but there are also some signs of tolerance.

One of the most popular musical artists in Angola is a transgender woman. Her name is Titica and she is part of the very popular rap-techno fusion music style known as kuduro. Known as kuduro's queen, she has performed at various music festivals around the world. But all of this doesn't mean that her path to succes was easy. Instead, she is still suffering attacks from many people in this very conservative country, most of the hate speaches towards are based on the bible.[14]

Political parties and non-governmental organizations

The three major political parties have not formally addressed LGBT in their respective party platforms. On the rare occasion that politicians and other government officials have dealt with LGBT people or rights, their policies have reflected prevailing attitudes.

In 2010, the Angolan Government refused to receive openly gay Isi Yanouka as the new Israeli ambassador, allegedly due to his sexual orientation.[15]

The Government does allow for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to exist in Angola, and some charities have begun to work with members of the LGBT community with regards to AIDS-HIV education.


Legally, people living with HIV-AIDS in Angola are entitled to health care services and protection from employment discrimination.

Efforts to develop educational program specifically for LGBT people have struggled to receive funding from NGOs. The first association, Acção Humana (Human Action), was launched in 2006 but has been unable to receive funding. In 2007, a study on AIDS-HIV estimated that roughly five percent of HIV infections are from men who have sex with other men.[8]

An AIDS-HIV educational program for LGBT in Angola is just beginning to develop, through the work of NGOs, such as the Population Services International.

Summary table

Same-sex sexual activity legal No (not enforced - new penal code pending)
Equal age of consent No (new penal code pending)
Anti-discrimination laws in employment only Yes (Since 2015)
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services No (Pending)
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (Incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) No (Pending)
Same-sex marriages No
Recognition of same-sex couples No
Stepchild adoption by same-sex couples No
Joint adoption by same-sex couples No
LGBT people allowed to serve openly in the military Emblem-question.svg
Right to change legal gender No
Access to IVF for lesbians No
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No
MSMs allowed to donate blood No

See also


  1. ^
  4. ^ Aprovada em Angola nova lei que penaliza aborto com prisão
  5. ^ Aprovado Código Penal que penaliza aborto
  6. ^ Votação do novo Código Penal angolano novamente adiada
  7. ^ "Código de Família" (PDF) (in Portuguese). Retrieved 4 April 2018. 
  8. ^ a b c "AfricaFiles | Angola: Gays and lesbians: Invisible and vulnerable". Retrieved 2017-07-21. 
  9. ^ "Angola News & Reports". Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  10. ^ Constitution of the Republic of Angola (WIPO Lex)
  12. ^ "Employment & labour law in Angola". Lexology. 15 September 2015. 
  13. ^ ANGOLA - STATUS OF SEXUAL MINORITIES, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, at the Asylum Documentation Program /SF website
  14. ^ Redvers, Louise (2012-04-12). "BBC News - Transsexual artist Titica takes Angola by storm". Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  15. ^ Hartman, Ben (2010-04-30). "Was diplomat denied post in Angola because he is openly gay?". Retrieved 2012-08-13. 

External links

  • Sexual Minorities & HIV Status (Angola) — various information packets used for asylum purposes
  • Angola travel advice: Local laws and customs — UK government
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