The ball is now in the court of President Ali Bongo Ondimba, whose ratification will make the bill law in the central African country. Gabon will join a handful of African countries to legally allow homosexuality.
The legislation has not gone down well with a core section of the largely religious Gabonese society with reports indicating that prominent politicians, religious leaders and a cross section of the public have denounced the legislation, describing it as a change designed to appease foreign donors.
Forty-eight lawmakers have shaken an entire nation and its customs and traditions.
The bill if assented to by the president will expunge a 2019 law that criminalised homosexuality, stipulating a six months jail term and sizeable fine for gay sex.
Activists and pro-gay rights group are celebrating the move as key steps in seeking that African governments respect the rights of same-sex couples.
Reports by such groups in other African countries have routinely alleged that the LGBT community have been forced underground due to harassment from anti-gay elements in their societies and actions of law enforcement.
Gabon’s legislative arm of government is bicameral in nature. The Senate consists of 91 seats elected for six-year terms by members of municipal councils and departmental (or divisional) assemblies.
The National Assembly consists of 120 seats. Members are elected for a five-year term by direct popular vote. The legislative branch shares the right to initiate new laws with the executive.