According to reports the country lifted the ban on Monday when a new penal code came into force that swept away old Portuguese colonial laws.
The old code, dating back to 1886, targeted anyone “who habitually engages in vices against nature” — though no known prosecutions took place after Mozambique became independent in 1975.
Breaking the law was punishable by up to three years of hard labor.
“It’s a symbolic victory, as social inclusion remains the main challenge,” Frank, a student gay rights activist who declined to give his full name, told news agency, AFP.
The new penal code, which was announced last December by then President Armando Guebuza, also decriminalizes abortion after lobbying by civil rights organizations.
In neighboring Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe is known for his crusades against homosexuality, and discrimination is widespread across the continent.