The Stance of Homosexuality in Cape Verde

August 26, 2023

Homosexuality, like in many parts of the world, remains a highly debated and sensitive topic in Cape Verde. This archipelago nation located in the central Atlantic Ocean has made significant progress in terms of LGBTQ+ rights in recent years but still faces certain challenges and barriers in fully accepting and embracing its LGBTQ+ community.

Legal Status and Protection

One of the key indicators of a society's stance on homosexuality is its legal framework. Cape Verde decriminalized homosexuality in 2004, making it one of the few African countries to have done so. This significant step forward helped to establish LGBTQ+ rights as a legitimate concern worthy of protection.

Furthermore, in 2004, Cape Verde also included sexual orientation as a protected category in its constitution, ensuring that LGBTQ+ individuals have legal rights and cannot face discrimination solely based on their sexual orientation.

Social Attitudes and Acceptance

While the legal framework in Cape Verde provides a certain level of protection, social attitudes towards homosexuality still vary widely. The archipelago, consisting of ten islands, is influenced by a mix of cultural, religious, and traditional beliefs, which can contribute to differing attitudes and acceptance levels across different regions.

Urban areas, such as the capital city of Praia, tend to be more progressive and accepting compared to rural regions. This urban-rural divide reflects the broader challenges that societies face in expanding acceptance and understanding of diverse sexual orientations.

LGBTQ+ Rights Activism and Organizations

Cape Verde has seen the emergence of LGBTQ+ rights activists and organizations seeking to promote inclusiveness and raise awareness about LGBTQ+ issues. These groups play an essential role in advocating for equal rights, providing support to the LGBTQ+ community, and challenging discriminatory practices.

Organizations like the LGBT Cape Verde Association work tirelessly to foster acceptance, advocate for legal reforms, and empower LGBTQ+ individuals to live authentic lives free from discrimination and prejudice.

Challenges and Future Outlook

Despite the progress made, several challenges still exist for the LGBTQ+ community in Cape Verde. Homophobic attitudes, rooted in cultural and religious beliefs, continue to persist in some communities. Lack of comprehensive sex education in schools and limited access to healthcare services tailored to LGBTQ+ individuals also contribute to ongoing challenges.

However, the future outlook appears promising. The increasing visibility of LGBTQ+ individuals, along with the efforts of advocacy groups and allies, is gradually shifting public opinion towards greater acceptance. The government's commitment to protecting LGBTQ+ rights and promoting inclusivity is a positive sign for the community's future well-being.


The stance of homosexuality in Cape Verde is evolving with each passing day. While legal protection and advocacy efforts have improved the lives of LGBTQ+ individuals in the country, challenges still persist. It is crucial for society to engage in open conversations and promote acceptance, empathy, and understanding to foster a truly inclusive environment for all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation.

Through continued education, advocacy, and the unwavering determination of activists and organizations, Cape Verde has the potential to become a shining example of a society that embraces diversity and upholds the rights of all its citizens, regardless of sexual orientation.

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The Stance of Homosexuality in Senegal