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Six men arrested for gay wedding in Gabon

Despite same-sex weddings or gay sex not being explicitly illegal in the African country, police arrested the men on grounds of ‘obscenity’
President of Gabon Ali Bongo Ondimba is being called on to introduce laws governing homosexuality.

Despite same-sex weddings or gay sex not being explicitly illegal in the African country, police arrested the men on grounds of ‘obscenity’

While homosexuality is not explicitly illegal in Gabon, unlike 38 other African countries, six men were arrested for having a gay wedding.

Police decided to hold the men for one night, not bringing charges against them after determining no marriage had occurred.

A wedding was allegedly held on 29 December, and was widely reported by local media.

As quoted in the Gabon Review, prosecutor Sidonie Flore Ouwe said: ‘A gay marriage ceremony would constitute obscenity and an affront to public order punishable by law.’

She added the reason why she believed no marriage had occurred was members of the two parties’ families were not present, as expected in a traditional wedding.

‘In this case, no member of the biological family of those allegedly married was present at the ceremony. It is therefore not a customary marriage,’ Ouwe said.

She also urged the leaders to pass a law explicitly governing homosexuality in Gabon.

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.

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