20,000 March in Burundi, Demand Homosexuality be Criminalized


In the largest demonstration since President Pierre Nkurunziza came to power in 2005, according to AFP, 10,000 to 20,000 Burundians took to the streets in Bujumbura to demand that the government criminalize homosexuality:

"On February 17, senators voted through a draft criminal code law
that abolished the death penalty, but rejected an amendment that
outlawed homosexuality. Parliament's lower chamber had adopted
the amendments in November that sought to penalise homosexuality by up
to two years in jail. The senate's version is to be returned to
the lower house for adoption but if it fails to be passed, the two
chambers have to form a commission to harmonise the bill before the
president approves it. The country's main opposition party
criticised the protests as 'a huge manipulation of the people, a
demagogic move,' its spokesman Pancrace Cimpaye told AFP."

Gay activists and critics called the march a propaganda move by the 'born again' Nkurunziza who is seeking re-election next year.

Said Jeremie Ngendakumana, the ruling party's chairman: "The CNDD-FDD is protesting today to support the (view of the) majority
of Burundians that homosexuality should be punished by law. Homosexuality is a sin. It is a culture which has been imported to sully our morals and is practiced by immoral people. If we love our country, if we love our culture, we must ban this practice which will draw only misfortune for us."


  1. Derrick from Philly says

    Hitler was good at this kind of thing…you know, public demonstrations in support of ignorance and bigotry. Never mind that your leaders steal foreign aid money, let’s punish the homosexuals.

    Lord, they’re almost as backwards as the fundamentalist Christians in Kansas and Mississippi and Alabama and Texas and Georgia and Arkansas and Tennesee and Oklahoma and the middle of Pennsylvania.

  2. TANK says

    Almost as bad. They don’t have original sin to contend with.

    Don’t you dare blame these people for their homophobia and behavior! Don’t you understand that this isn’t their fault? It’s someone else’s. Whose? I dunno, and neither do you, but it is!

  3. Eric says

    Perhaps this “born again” thing is what’s wrong with the entire Christianity epidemic. When the dead walk the earth as living flesh, surely something must be wrong. I’ve seen all the Milla Jovovich flicks and you know, those zombies are just a bunch of fucktards taking up space.

  4. Derrick from Philly says

    “Don’t you dare blame these people for their homophobia and behavior! Don’t you understand that this isn’t their fault? It’s someone else’s. Whose? I dunno…”

    I already mentioned folks in Kansas, TANK. Now, let’s get back to discussin’ the Burundians, ok.

  5. Derrick from Philly says

    “Stupid little Savages must be the heat.”

    Yeah, extreme heat will do that to ya’, DAVID. That’s why they get such a violent reaction at Gay Pride Parades in Latvia & Russia….the heat brings out the big hairy savages.

  6. Zeke says

    I can’t imagine a more pressing problem in Burundi, or anywhere in Africa, that Burundians might rather concern themselves with.

    It’s not as if they have poverty or an AIDS epidemic or any other problems that need to be addressed.

    Yep, the problem of homa-sek-shality is most definitely THE biggest threat to civilization in Burundi.

  7. Foochy says

    “Africa is still the ‘dark’ continent (i.e. Heart of Darkness) as far as gays are concerned…”

    If you had actually read the book, Max, you wouldn’t have made that analogy — seeing that “Heart of Darkness” is an examination and critique of the impact of colonialism on both “civilized” and “savage” cultures.

    Given the Christian fundamentalist leanings of Nkurunziza, whose party has worked to impose anti-homosexuality laws in a country which did not have any until 2008 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Burundi), it is again the imposition of Christian right-wing hegemony in order to serve its own narrow interests — and not that of its populace of 3.5 million.

    Like Derrick poignantly illustrates, this hardly is specific to a race or ethnicity of people.

  8. TANK says

    Here we go… How dare you blame these people for their behaviors and beliefs! As a condescending multicultural warrior, I can explain away any fact with the merest unsubstantiated conjecture couched in a few population statistics to make it seem less a faith based assertion that supports my political beliefs and moral “intuitions” than facts. And, of course, they don’t represent the beliefs of more than just themselves, just like christian evangelicals don’t reflect and rely on the homophobia of more than just christian evangelicals in the united states…outside of the christian evangelical community here in the states, we’re talkin’ homo paradise.

    Le sigh… Before white men, it was the beautiful people…no wrong, no homophobia, no slavery, no gender subjugation…no sexism or appartheid…colonial imperialists didn’t take advantage of preexisting cultural practices and memes to further subjugate the people they exploited…like their current overlords do.

  9. Foochy says

    Carry a carbon-copy agenda much, Tank? Who are “these people” who aren’t being blamed for their behavior by whom, pray tell? Your pathological need to derail discussions on race and sexuality with your proscribed beliefs and sweeping generalizations are quite ridiculous. Instead of informed discussion, you engage in endless off-the-mark snark steeped in little understanding that Africa is not a singular culture.

    You are the one trading in stereotype and condescension. You are the one who feels the need to lace your comments with racialist sentiments. Try a little harder next time, yeah?

  10. TANK says

    The people of Burundi, who should be condemned for these beliefs just as harshly as anyone else who harbors them. You seek to attenuate such criticism and condemnation by suggesting that the government was hijacked by a minority of xtian homophobes, and that before they came to power, Burundi was bastion of tolerance for its lgbt inhabitants because it lacked explicit laws which criminalized same sex sexual behavior. I disagree, and think it’s absurd and unethical to basically ignore the struggles of its lgbt citizenry who were mistreated and continue to be grossly discriminated against–who suffer in silence. Especially those who have to struggle for basic human dignities every day to survive. In fact, the government is merely using preexisting rampant antigay sentiments to win support for itself amongst the masses, as per usual.

    In the height of condescension, you suggest that Nkurunziza is motivated more by his fidelity to christian values than to political power.

    “it is again the imposition of Christian right-wing hegemony in order to serve its own narrow interests — and not that of its populace of 3.5 million.”

    I think that’s harmful to believe. He’s a politician motivated by self interest and self preservation first and foremost, and isn’t imposing these beliefs upon the majority so much as capitalizing on them.

    According to you and your ilk, how dare I treat burundi and other african nations with disparate cultures as unified in their outright contempt, mistreatment and criminalization of lgbt people when it is illegal to engage in same sex behavior in over 2/3rds of african nations. Why? Because it works in consolidating the powerbase of their disparate governments through distraction. It’s a simple as blaming gays for their poverty and not corrupt government regimes. It’s a means of social control. South Africa is the exception to the rule.

    But somehow I shouldn’t judge them harshly because of the atrocities committed under colonialism, and the poverty that they endure, conveniently separating the bigots from the persecuted who suffer under the same crushing poverty exacerbated by the outright bigotry of their neighbors, condoned and encouraged by the government. I find it sad that I’m presumably talking to an adult…look, just because someone is poor and uneducated does not give their bigotry and the suffering they inflict upon others a pass, or make it somehow more acceptable or less wrong. It does not in any way. This aren’t accidental behaviors, but methodical.

    But “racialist” sentiments, huh? How so? By daring to suggest that homophobia in burundi and other african countries is extremely common amongst its citizenry, and that pre colonial atrocities and incursions into the region, the vast majority of people in the region were…people with prejudices just like every other culture on the planet? That before western colonialism, same sex sex was stigmatized just as surely as gender roles were enforced and sexism existed? That pre european imperialism, it was merely a different kind of horrible for most of its inhabitants? And by different kind, I mean they were subjugated and exploited by a different in group. Crazy talk…but provable.

    Lastly, sweeping generalizations is your domain, and amounts to a cheap rhetorical device.

  11. Dancobbbb says

    This is typical of the primitive types of governance one finds throughout much of Africa, sad to say. I remember when Robert Mugabe started on his gays-as-scape-goats campaign twenty years ago. He was merciless –saying that gays are lower than pigs and rats –unleashing violence against gays in all parts of the country. Persecution against gays is the canary in the mine shaft. This type of scapegoating is a sign that the corrupt government has brought the nation to the brink of economic catastrophe. When Mugabe started his anti-gay attacks, I knew the nation of Zimbabwe was in BIG TROUBLE… because it’s a diversionary tactic. And sure enough, twenty years later Zimbabwe –which once was the breadbasket of southern Africa– can no longer feed itself. It can no longer provide clean drinking water to its people. Mugabe has become a sadistic and evil dictator. I can only hope that one day those Mugabe supporters who bashed gays will suffer greatly because of Mugabe’s policies.

  12. Derrick from Phillly says

    The point that Foochy and I were trying to make (and will continue to make as long as we discuss this issue on this blog) is that Black American, Caribbean & African homophobia get “special” criticism from white gays.

    Why is it that anti-gay stupidity from blacks is more offensive than when it comes from whites?

    “for years you blacks complained so much about discrimination and persecution–you should know better than to practice it against another minority”

    Why don’t you say that against anti-gay Italians, anti-gay Jews, anti-gay Latinos, anti-gay Native Americans, anti-gay Irish-Catholics (happy St. Patty’s Day), anti-gay Lesbians (sometimes I don’t blame them ‘cuz men is trouble)–all groups that have suffered some kind of discrimination here in America and beyond?

    Only big mouthed black homophobes create this “special” intense outrage for many white gays. Based on the age-old racial slurs that white gays use when reacting to black homophobia, I think I know the answer to why black homophobia deserves “special” condemnation and resentment:

    “How dare these inferior black savages insult me. I’m still a white man–even if I do suck dicks.”

  13. idi says

    If god was one of as, I will ask him a favor,to wipe out all those believer in the name of any religion,I’m seak of them. can we all leave together? get along one another? you worry about gays instead your well being dummy.if it was not for those greedy politician across the continent of Africa, perhaps i will not seeking a refuge abroad thank you very much.

  14. says

    I wonder whether any of these people were coerced to join this demonstration. Africans often tell me that they or others knew they had to go to some B.S. demonstration. But, with regard to this, I don’t know.

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