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Rwanda to vote on criminalizing homosexuality this week

While Uganda presses ahead with anti-gay legislation, neighbouring Rwanda is also considering legislation that would criminalize homosexuality.

From the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission:

On Dec 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 approved by Rwanda's lower house, the draft will move on to the Senate in early 2010, says the ILGHRC.

Check out Box Turtle Bulletin for more — editor Jim Burroway has drawn links between US evangelical pastor Rick Warren and Rwanda's attempts to criminalize homosexuality.

Meanwhile, activists in Toronto are planning a protest against Uganda's anti-gay bill. Among other punishments, Uganda's bill proposes a death penalty for "aggravated homosexuality." 

Vigil in Protest of Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
519 Church St.
Fri, Dec 18, 5:30-7:30pm.
See the Facebook Event for more details.

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