LGBT rights in Mozambique

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LGBT rights in Mozambique
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Legal
Military service No[1]
Discrimination protections Sexual orientation protected (employment only)
Family rights
Recognition of
Adoption Government does not officially approve joint adoption by same-sex couples

Same-sex sexual activity will become legal in Mozambique under the new criminal code which will take effect in June 2015.[2] Discrimination protections in employment based on sexual orientation exist since 2007.

Law regarding same-sex sexual activity[edit]

Until enactment of a new criminal code, the legal status of same-sex sexual activity was ambiguous. On March 2011, the Minister of Justice declared during the UN Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review that homosexuality is not an offence in Mozambique.[3][4] However, the Penal Code does contain an offence of "practices against nature".[5] According to the ILGA, this clause could potentially be interpreted as including male and female same-sex sexual activity, even though it is unknown to what extent the law is enforced. Indeed, reports state that the incidence of the statute being enforced against LGBT individuals have been slim to none.[6][7]

In December 2014, the president signed the new criminal code which does not have any provisions regarding same-sex sexual activity.[8][9] It was published in the official journal on 31 December 2014 and will take effect 180 days later.[2]

Discrimination protections[edit]

In line with most other former Portuguese African colonies, Mozambique is reported to be one of the most tolerant countries in Africa towards gays and lesbians.[10][11][12] While the government has reported fairly little on LGBT rights, all of what has been said has been positive.[13] It is one of the only three countries in Africa to offer any form of discrimination protections for gay, lesbians, and bisexuals, which have been in place since 2007.[6]

Article 4 of the 23/2007 Labour Law provides for "non-discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, race or HIV/AIDS status". Article 5 of the law grants employees a right to privacy, relating to "the private and personal lives of employees, such as their family lives, personal relationships, sex lives, state of health and their political and religious convictions." Article 108 of the law provides that "all employees, whether nationals or foreigners, without distinction based on sex, sexual orientation, [...] have the right to receive a wage and to enjoy equal benefits for equal work".[14][15]

Protests for such legislation had been kick started only a year before, signaling a reasonably swift response by the government.[16] Mozambique does not provide any form of recognition of same-sex relationships, though protests for same-sex marriage and common-law marriage have been ongoing since 2006.[17]

A notable figure to have spoken out in support of LGBT rights in Mozambique and the rest of Africa is former president Joaquim Chissano who also spoke to other African leaders to stop laws that impede on LGBT rights in Africa.[18][19]

Public opinion[edit]

A September 2013 survey of people in the Maputo and the cities of Beira and Nampula found moderate levels of support for the legal recognition of same-sex couples and parenting rights:[20]

Maputo Beira Nampula
Same rights for same-sex and opposite-sex couples 42.7% 32.0% 47.2%
Same-sex marriage 37.0% 17.9% 28.2%
Same-sex adoption 49.5% 40.2% 44.9%

Summary table[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity legal Yes (Since 2015)
Equal age of consent Yes
Anti-discrimination laws in employment Yes (Since 2007)
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services No
Anti-discrimination laws in hate speech and violence 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 No
Right to change legal gender Emblem-question.svg
Access to IVF for lesbians No
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No
MSMs allowed to donate blood No

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mady Wechsler Segal (2003). Armed forces and international security: global trends and issues. Jean M. Callaghan, Franz Kernic (editors). Transaction. p. 218. ISBN 3-8258-7227-0. 
  2. ^ a b "State-sponsored Homophobia: A world survey of laws prohibiting same sex activity between consenting adults" (PDF). International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA). 
  3. ^ Mozambique Gay Rights Group Wants Explicit Constitutional Protections
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ a b "State-sponsored Homophobia: A world survey of laws prohibiting same sex activity between consenting adults" (PDF). International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA). 
  7. ^ Mozambique by Mary Fitzpatrick (Lonely Planet) – pg 174
  8. ^ Mozambique: Presidente promulga nuevo Código Penal que legaliza el aborto
  9. ^ Moçambique reafirma que homossexualidade não constitui crime
  10. ^ Biggest Ever Studies on Attitudes to Religion and Morality in Africa Released
  11. ^
  12. ^ Mozambique discovers its gay minority
  13. ^
  14. ^ Labour Law, law nr. 23/2007
  15. ^ (Portuguese) Lei n.º 23/2007 (p. 20), Boletim Da República, 1 de Agosto de 2007
  16. ^ Mozambique discovers its gay minority, Afrol news
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ [3]