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Burundi Outlaws Homosexuality

Jim Burroway

November 23rd, 2008

The central African nation of Burundi adopted a new set of laws abolishing the death penalty for the first time in the troubled nation’s history. The sweeping law was seen as an important reform. It incorporated parts of international law on genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. It includes important safeguards against torture as well as sexual violence against women and children.

It also criminalizes homosexuality.

The law was overwhelmingly passed by Burundi’s Parliament, 90-0 with ten abstentions. It still needs to be ratified by the Senate and signed by President Pierre Nkurunziza, which is seen as a mere formality. Nkurunziza is described as an ex-Hutu rebel leader and born-again Christian, whose presidency has been marred by accusations of assassinations and torture. Burundi is still emerging from a twelve-year civil war that engulfed neighboring Rwanda.

[Hat tip: Stefano]



L. Junius Brutus
November 23rd, 2008 | LINK

There is no hope for the continent of Africa. None whatsoever.

November 23rd, 2008 | LINK

L. Junius Brutus,

There is always hope.

Taking a step backward while simultaneously taking one forward is, alas, normal human behavior. You can’t write off an entire continent because of it.

The work of spreading liberal, democratic society in Africa is difficult, but that doesn’t make it impossible.

November 23rd, 2008 | LINK

Outlawing homosexuality in countries that have no handle on rape, kidnapping, forced marriages, rampant looting, torture, mutilation and murder makes the coutry’s leaders appear not really all that interested in addressing the issues that are most important to the people.

November 23rd, 2008 | LINK

Let’s not forget that the country of South Africa has legalized same-sex marriage since 2006.

November 24th, 2008 | LINK

A lot of the gay bashing in Africa, especially sub-Saharan Africa, comes from introduced Islamic and Christian beliefs.

I think a lot of the leaders use it as a way to deflect attention from how corrupt and incompetent they are.

November 28th, 2008 | LINK

If Burundi is this negative in their attitudes toward sexual orientation, it’s unfortunate that they don’t just return the .bi Internet domain so that ICANN can assign it to some more reasonable nation.

Stefano A
February 17th, 2009 | LINK


The law was overwhelmingly passed by Burundi’s Parliament, 90-0 with ten abstentions. It still needs to be ratified by the Senate….

The Senate of Burundi today (17 February 2009) rejected the proposed amendment to the new draft of the criminal code that would have criminalised homosexual conduct.

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