Catholic bishops in Gabon have come out in opposition to the decriminalization of homosexuality in their French speaking central African country.
“In the name of the wisdom of our ancestors contained in our various cultures that celebrate Life, Love and Family, we say no to the decriminalization of homosexuality,” said Archbishop Jean-Patrick Iba-Ba of Libreville in a June 24 message.
Gabon had no legislation regarding homosexuality until July 2019 when an almost unnoticed law was promulgated, punishing those engaging in same-sex relations with up to six months in prison and a 5 million CFA francs (€7,600) fine.
But the country’s National Assembly annulled that law on June 23. The vote was 48 in favor and 25 abstentions.
The archbishop said the vote “is a danger to [our] children and to homosexuals themselves,” who risk “hostile reactions and discrimination”.
He urged leaders to “rebel against these unhealthy methods by opting for the fight for freedom”. He also invited all religious denominations to organize times of prayer to “implore the help of the Lord of the universe in these difficult times”.