(WB) Lawmakers in Senegal have rejected a bill that would have further criminalized consensual same-sex sexual relations in the country.

Media reports indicate the majority of the Senegalese National Assembly on Dec. 25 issued a statement that described the measure as a “bogus debate.” Lawmakers on Wednesday formally tabled the bill.

Senegal is a former French colony in West Africa that borders Gambia, Mauritania, Mali, Guinea-Bissau and Guinea.

Article 319 of the Senegalese penal code states anyone convicted of “any indecent or unnatural act committed between individuals of the same sex” faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to 1,500,000 CFA (West African CFA) francs ($2,579.70.) Souleymane Diouf, a spokesperson for Collectif Free du Sénégal, a Senegalese LGBTQ rights group, earlier this month told the Washington Blade that “any LGBTI person” would face between five to 10 years in prison and a fine of between 1,000,000-5,000,000 CFA francs ($1,719.80-$8,599) under the bill.

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