Lesbian couple marries in Angola

Shanelle Moffett and Tenisha Watkins, a lesbian couple from Chicago, USA, kiss at their civil union ceremony on June 2, 2011. Such unions are deeply frowned upon in much of Africa. PHOTO | AFP 

A lesbian couple got married in Angola’s capital Luanda over the weekend, the second recorded gay marriage in the southern African country.

The couple, known only as São Paulo and Mario, decided to solemnise their marriage after 5 years of engagement.

To people's surprise, the couple also had godparents who are public figures in Luanda.

They said they are going to spend their honeymoon in Brazil.

Homosexuality is illegal in Angola, though there is a record of another gay marriage taking place in the country five years ago.

Since Angolan legislation does not allow same sex marriage, São Paulo and Mario's union will not carry legal weight nor be endowed with a marriage certificate.

However, Luanda´s gay community keeps a book to "record" all its members' marriages.

Angolan Penal Code imposes criminal sanctions on those who practice acts “against the order of nature”.

However, rights groups have been piling pressure on the government not to apply such laws to criminalise same-sex activity between consenting adults.

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