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As if the so-called “Anti-Homosexuality Bill” pending before the Ugandan legislature were not enough, now comes Rwanda:

Rwandan Parliament to Vote on Criminalizing Homosexuality This Week

This week, the lower house of the Rwandan Parliament will vote on a draft revision of the penal code that will, Rwandafor the first time, make homosexuality a crime in Rwanda. The proposed Article 217 of the draft Penal Code Act will criminalize “[a]ny person who practices, encourages or sensitizes people of the same sex, to sexual relation or any sexual practice.” Rwanda’s Chamber of Deputies will vote on the draft code December 16, 2009. If the Chamber of Deputies approves, the draft code will likely go before the Rwandan Senate in early 2010.

Article 217 violates Rwandans’ basic human rights and is contradictory to the Rwandan Constitution as well as various regional and international conventions. This draft provision targeting LGBT people closely follows the introduction of a similar measure in neighboring Uganda, where the nation’s parliament is currently debating an Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The proposed Ugandan law would prohibit all LGBT activism and organizing, would further criminalize consensual same-sex conduct between adults, which is already illegal in Uganda, and in some cases apply the death penalty.

From the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission

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