The Seychelles Parliament Decriminalized Gay Sex

Seychelles beach scene

Image via Passport

One of the most idyllic places to vacation has just become more gay-friendly after the country’s parliament finally amended a colonial-era penal code that prohibited gay sex. The still-on-the-books law that stated that legal action would be required for any man who “has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature.” It would sentence men caught having sex together in jail for up to 14 years. The move makes the Seychelles one of the few members of the African Union to allow homosexuality.

The vote, 14 in favor while the rest abstained, was passed Wednesday in the capital Victoria.

“Our constitution clearly states that all persons are equal and this is what our party believes in,” opposition leader Francesca Monnaie of the Popular Democratic Movement told SNA. “So I do not see why we should discriminate against a specific group based on their sexual orientation.”

Tourism seems to have been a major motivation for the group of 115 islands. High-end tourism (even Prince William and Kate spent their honeymoon here) makes up around 20% of the economy, according to the country’s labor stats, and many (particularly for the LGBT traveler) were concerned over the antiquated law.

 

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