Formerly a colony of the British Empire, Zambia inherited the laws and legal system of its colonial master upon independence in 1964. Laws concerning homosexuality have largely remained unchanged since then, and homosexuality is covered by "sodomy laws".

Social attitudes toward LGBT people are mostly negative and coloured by perceptions that homosexuality is immoral and a insanity.


Male to male relationships: Not legal

Punishments for male to male relationships: Imprisonment of 10 years or more

Female to female relationships: Legal

Marriage and substitutes for marriage: No law

More on Zambian law at

Legal incidents

Recent efforts in early 2013 in Zambia to vilify LGBT people have publicly portrayed homosexuality as immoral and un-African. The government’s unwillingness to assert constitutional protections and ensure redress for discrimination and abuse of minorities, as well as the arbitrary arrest and prosecution of individuals suspected of homosexual acts, show the vulnerability of the country’s LGBT community.

On May 6, 2013, police in the Kapiri Mposhi district in central Zambia arrested James Mwansa and Phillip Mubiana in response to reports from neighbors that the two were engaging in homosexual acts. Both men were subjected to anal examinations without their consent by forensic doctors at the Kapiri Mposhi District Hospital, as part of the police investigation. Read more about this incident and the present situation in Zambia at Human Rights Watch:

LGBT organizations/networks

- Friends of Rainka: (no webpage, but a description can be found here:

The initial purpose of Friends of Rainka is to support a study on the health situation of men who have sex with men (MSM). The organisation now gathers some of the most visible LGBT activists in the country, who are also part of informal regional networks of LGBT groups.Friends of Rainka is not registered as of December 2010 but continues to operate as a Human Rights and Health Rights advocate for the LGBT community in Zambia.



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