LGBT rights in Cape Verde

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LGBT rights in Cape Verde Cape Verde
Same-sex sexual intercourse legal status Legal since 2004, with an equal age consent[1]
Military service Unknown
Discrimination protections Yes since 2008. In the area of employment only

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Cape Verde may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity is legal in Cape Verde, but same-sex couples and households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex couples.

Laws regarding same-sex sexual acts

In the 1886 penal code for Cape Verde, Article 71 stated that unnatural acts were illegal.[1] Then, in 2004, Cape Verde amended their penal code and became the second African country to legalize same-sex sexual acts. At the time of decriminalization, the legal age of consent was 16 years old, the same age for consensual heterosexual acts.[2] As of 2015, the age of consent in Cape Verde is 14. [3]

Discrimination protections

Discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace is banned by articles 45(2) and 406(3) of the Labour Code since 2008.[1]

Recognition of same-sex relationships

Cape Verde does not recognize same-sex unions. On 11 July 2017, the Prime Minister Ulisses Correia e Silva stated that legalization of same-sex marriage was not on the government's agenda.[4]

Living conditions

In line with other former Portuguese African colonies, Cape Verde is reported to be one of the most tolerant countries in Africa towards gays and lesbians.[5]

The U.S. Department of State's 2010 Human Rights Report found that "legal provisions helped provide protection for homosexual conduct; however, societal discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity continued to be a problem. There were no lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender persons' organizations active in the country."[6]

United Nations

In 2008, Cape Verde was one of 66 countries that signed a General Assembly document stating that human rights are not limited based on sexual orientations or gender identities.[7]

Public opinion

A 2016 Afrobarometer opinion poll found that 74% of Cape Verdeans would welcome or would not be bothered by having a homosexual neighbour. Cape Verde was one of the only four countries polled with a majority in favour[8] (the others being South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique).

Summary table

Same-sex sexual activity legal Yes (Since 2004)
Equal age of consent Yes (Since 2004)
Anti-discrimination laws in employment Yes (Since 2008)
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services No
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) No
Same-sex marriage No
Recognition of same-sex couples No
Step-child adoption by same-sex couples No
Joint adoption by same-sex couples No
Gays and lesbians allowed to serve openly in the military Emblem-question.svg
Right to change legal gender Emblem-question.svg
Access to IVF for lesbians Emblem-question.svg
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples Emblem-question.svg
MSMs allowed to donate blood No

See also


  1. ^ a b c Itaborahy, L.P.; Jingshu, Zhu. "State-Sponored Homophobia: A world survey of laws: Criminalisation, protection and recognition of same-sex love" (PDF). ILGA. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 July 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  2. ^ Epprecht, Marc (April 2012). "Sexual minorities, human rights and public health strategies in Africa". African Affairs. 111 (443): 223–243. doi:10.1093/afraf/ads019. 
  3. ^ "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012". Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  4. ^ PM de Cabo Verde diz que casamento homossexual não está na agenda política do Governo
  5. ^ Stewart, Colin. "Africa's most and least homophobic countries". Retrieved 16 October 2016. 
  6. ^ "2010 Human Rights Report: Cape Verde". Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. Retrieved 16 October 2016. 
  7. ^ "UN: General Assembly Statement Affirms Rights for All". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 16 October 2016. 
  8. ^ Africa’s most and least homophobic countries
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