LGBT rights in Gabon

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Gabon may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Except for a period between July 2019 and June 2020, same-sex sexual activity has never been illegal in Gabon.

Location Gabon AU Africa.svg
StatusLegal since 2020
Gender identityNo
Discrimination protectionsNo
Family rights
Recognition of relationshipsNo

Same-sex couples and households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex couples and LGBT persons face stigmatization among the broader population.[1][2]

In December 2008, Gabon co-sponsored and signed the non-binding UN declaration on sexual orientation and gender identity calling for the global decriminalization of homosexuality, one of only six African countries to do so.[3] In 2011, however, Gabon voted against joint statement on ending acts of violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity" at the United Nations, condemning violence and discrimination against LGBT people.[4]

Laws regarding same-sex sexual activityEdit

Following the country's independence from France in 1960, and up to 2019, same-sex relationships have not been criminalized.[1] The age of consent, however, had always differed. Opposite-sex sexual acts required a minimum age of 18, while same-sex sexual act required the minimum age of 21.[5][6] Despite this, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights reported in 2013 that Gabon continues a highly discriminatory environment for LGBT people, "which may be why LGBT reporting of incidences is so low."[1]

On 5 July 2019, Gabon enacted revisions to its Penal Code which criminalized homosexual relation between consenting adults with a potential penalty of imprisonment up to 6 months and/or a fine of up to 5 million CFA francs.[2][7] According to Davis Mac-Iyalla of the Interfaith Diversity Network of West Africa, he claimed he knew of two men in Gabon who had already been arrested under the law and had to bribe the police to be let go.[8][9] On 23 June 2020, the National Assembly approved the government's bill to decriminalize same-sex sexual activity. [10][11][12] It was approved by the Senate on 29 June, and signed by the President on 7 July 2020.[13][14]

Recognition of same-sex relationshipsEdit

There is no legal recognition of same-sex couples.

Discrimination protectionsEdit

There is no legal protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Living conditionsEdit

The U.S. Department of State's 2010 Human Rights Report found that "discrimination and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons was a problem, and LGBT individuals often kept their status secret from the community for fear of being harassed or discriminated against".[15]

Summary tableEdit

Same-sex sexual activity legal   (Since 2020)
Equal age of consent (18)[16][17]  
Anti-discrimination laws in hate speech and violence  
Anti-discrimination laws in employment  
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services  
Same-sex marriage  
Recognition of same-sex couples  
Step-child adoption by same-sex couples  
Joint adoption by same-sex couples  
Gays and lesbians allowed to serve openly in the military  
Right to change legal gender  
Access to IVF for lesbians  
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples  
MSMs allowed to donate blood  

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "WebCite query result" (PDF).
  2. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference Gabon Review was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. ^ "Statement on human rights and sexual orientation and gender identity" (PDF). United Nations. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 December 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
  4. ^ "17/19 Human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity". Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  5. ^ "Interpol Gabon Spring 2006 edition" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 October 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2006.
  6. ^ "Sexual consent". Avert. 23 June 2015.
  7. ^ "Gabon Code pénal" (PDF). Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  8. ^ "Gabon".
  9. ^ Bollinger, Alex (13 December 2019). "Gabon criminalized homosexuality & two men have already been arrested". LGBTQ Nation.
  10. ^ Mwangi, Nyawira (24 June 2020). "Gabon lawmakers vote to decriminalise homosexuality". CGTN Africa. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  11. ^ Obangome, Gerauds Wilfried; Felix, Bate (24 June 2020). "Gabon lawmakers vote to decriminalise homosexuality". Reuters. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  12. ^ "Anti-gay law in Gabon passes first step to decriminalization". RFI. 24 June 2020. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  13. ^ Obangome, Gerauds Wilfried; Felix, Bate; Prentice, Alessandra (29 June 2020). "Gabon senate votes to decriminalise homosexuality". Reuters. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  14. ^ Roeder, Kaela (8 July 2020). "Gabon formally decriminalizes homosexuality". Washington Blade. Retrieved 8 July 2020.
  15. ^ "Wayback Machine" (PDF). 25 October 2011.
  16. ^ Transclusion error: {{En}} is only for use in File namespace. Use {{lang-en}} or {{in lang|en}} instead.Interpol Gabon Spring 2006 edition Archived 2016-10-26 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Transclusion error: {{En}} is only for use in File namespace. Use {{lang-en}} or {{in lang|en}} instead.AVERT Worldwide ages of sexual consent