The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, has applauded Gabon for its decision to decriminalize gay sex.

Gabon criminalized consensual relations between people of the same sex in 2019.

Lawmakers reversed course late last month and the president has signed off on the decision.

“Today’s historic signing of a law decriminalizing same-sex relations in Gabon is a pivotal moment in the global fight for LGBTQ rights,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “Following in the footsteps of the recent decriminalization in Botswana and Angola, Gabon now sets an example for other countries that still have these dehumanizing and antiquated laws on the books. This critical win for basic human rights gives us reason to hope for more awareness and more victories across the continent.”

The government has not commented on why it has reversed course. The United States last year began a campaign to encourage nations to drop their bans.

UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima said in a statement that “Gabon is righting a grave injustice inflicted on the LGBTI community in the country.”

UNAIDS said that the criminalization of gay sex increases the risk of acquiring HIV and is a “profound violation of basic human rights.”

Seventy-three countries or jurisdictions around the world have similar laws making gay sex illegal.