December 17, 2009
Rwanda to vote on bill criminalizing homosexuality: From the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission: On December 16, 2009, the lower house of the Rwandan Parliament will hold its final debate on a draft revision of the penal code that will, for the first time, make homosexuality a crime in Rwanda. A vote on this draft code will occur before the end of the week. The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has learned that 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." If the Chamber of Deputies approves, the draft code will go before the Rwandan Senate most likely 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.