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Rwandan Justice Minister Denies Plans To Criminalize Homosexuality

Jim Burroway

December 19th, 2009
Rwanda's Minister of Justice Tharcisse Karugarama

Rwanda's Minister of Justice Tharcisse Karugarama

A report from Kigali-based New Times and distributed by allAfrica.com quotes Minister of Justice Tharcisse Karugarama as refuting reports that the government intends to criminalize homosexuality:

“The government I serve and speak for on certain issues cannot and will not in any way criminalize homosexuality; sexual orientation is a private matter and each individual has his or her own orientation – – this is not a State matter at all,” said Karugarama.

Karugarama cites reports from international gay rights organizations who had said that a proposed law was to be debated in Rwanda’s lower Chamber of Deputies on Dec 16. Later reports held that the vote would take place by Dec. 18.  The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission now says that a vote was abruptly postponed for the week of Dec. 21. Karugarama denies that there are any plans for a vote:

“They allege that the law was to be passed in Parliament on December 16, but sincerely there was nothing like that in the parliament that day.”

He clearly stated that; “these people should distinguish between issues debated by private parties and concrete proposals from the government.”

He hastened to add that the government has held a meeting with its development partners on this particular issue and told them their position ‘which is that the government has no intentions whatsoever to criminalize homosexuality.

Comments

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Priya Lynn
December 19th, 2009 | LINK

Well, that sounds pleasently refreshing after the horrific events in Uganda.

John
December 19th, 2009 | LINK

International donors to Rwanda would likely be obligated to suspend aide if Rwanda passed this law. Much sympathy for Rwandans is due to their recent genocide. Any law that showed the Rwandan government targeting a vulnerable minority would be unacceptable to donor nations who won’t want any more blood on their hands. Also, it would likely have a negative effect on the work of the War Crimes Tribunal and it is unlikely that they would continue to recieve any military aide.

As much difficulty as the Ugandan law would cause for that country, I think the consequences would be far worse for Rwanda.

Lynn David
December 20th, 2009 | LINK

Rick Warren??

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