Congo Considering Anti-Homosexuality Bill

MbakayiThe Democratic Republic of Congo may follow in the footsteps of Uganda if the Congolese National Assembly approves a drafted anti-gay bill currently in legislative limbo, though the level of support there is variable and wavering. Introduced in December by Steve Mbikayi (right), an MP in the Parti Travaillaise Congolais, the bill would criminalize homosexual and transgender-identified people with jail sentences and hefty fines. Mbikayi has cited homosexuality as an identity akin to such acts as pedophilia and bestiality, and given that there are reportedly open-minded and un-closeted communities in Kinshasha, the capital of the DRC, the bill has the potential to do serious damage to a large number of people. 

allAfrica reports:

Mbikayi's bill – which has yet to be made public but which has been seen by Think Africa Press – contains 37 articles that would render homosexuality and transgenderism illegal. The proposed penalty for engaging in a homosexual act is 3 to 5 years in prison and a fine of 1 million Congolese francs (about $1,000); while a transgender person would face the same fine and a jail sentence of 3 to 12 years.

The draft also contains a passage promising that the Congolese government will pay three quarters of any medical costs to "correct hormonal disorders that may result in homosexuality."

"The bill emanates from the Travailliste Party's philosophy," Mbikayi explained to Think Africa Press. "In relation to our culture, homosexuality is an 'anti-value' that comes from abroad. Already, in our country, seeing a man with a man or a woman with a woman is considered scandalous. So I promised my base that I would take care of the issue and penalise homosexuals."

DcrflagAnother similar bill lay dead in the water in 2010 after never receiving a vote, and many activists hope that Mbikayi's will meet a similar fate in the coming months. There is not a consensus, however, on whether or not the bill would meet the support required to enter a session of the National Assembly.

"In the city [Kinshasa], we know gays and transvestites who are known and accepted by their communities. No-one would try to attack them," explains Okakessema Olivier Nyamana, a lawyer from an NGO that works with HIV-positive people. "To me, it seems like political opportunism."

With the next parliamentary session looming, however, others are more pessimistic. "My fear is that the bill will pass next week without anyone noticing," says Françoise Mukuku, the executive director of Si Jeunesse Savait, a feminist organisation that also advocates for the rights of LGBT people in the DRC.

If the Congolese National Assembly approves the bill, which could enter into debate as soon as March 15th, it would become the 38th country in Africa to criminalize homosexuality. Hopefully the activist's outcries and campaigning will overcome Mbikayi's attempt to sign such discrimination into law. 

Comments

  1. TwinkleTwinkle says

    So Congo wants to engage in hormone experiments on gays, just like the Nazis and Americans used to do.

    Apparently learning from history isn’t important.

  2. Aaron Diaz says

    This whole thing could be a clever way African countries can get illegal African immigrants political asylum in the US and EU. All an African needs to do now is say, “I’m gay and can’t go back to Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Congo because of homophobia”

  3. John says

    I just can’t wait to go to Africa, the continent that makes Russia look like Mayberry RFD. Soon it will be all of Africa ready to kill the gays. Pity they don’t kill the monsters who poach elephants and rhinos. Now that would make sense.

  4. John says

    I just can’t wait to go to Africa, the continent that makes Russia look like Mayberry RFD. Soon it will be all of Africa ready to kill the gays. Pity they don’t kill the monsters who poach elephants and rhinos. Now that would make sense.

  5. Islam Shall Rule says

    Africa is rising to the call of Allah (swt). After the amreekan gay rapists of Abu Ghraib, do you think the Brothers of the Holy Continent of Africa will forgive you gay racist rapists? Never! We are eternal enemies. Our progeny will fight against you forever. You are the enemies of Allah and we are patient, reproducing more Shadeed and Shahida than you can possibly imagine. We have the will to kill. You value your narcissistic lives in amreeka the Great Shaytan. The blood of the west will be our bath water, an oasis of cleansing. You will deploy your drones, we will eventually follow suit. Eternal Jihad of vengeance against the gaystapo and amreekan pigsexers. The victory is ours!

  6. emjayay says

    OK, Towleroad, one more thing this comments section doesn’t have that every one else on earth now has is a FLAG function for offensive delusional hate speech like that.

  7. Bill says

    @emjayay: and what happens on other sites’ comment sections is that, when someone makes a legitimate comment that others don’t like, those legitimate comments get flagged and eliminated as people abuse the ‘flag’ function to censor out points of view that they don’t agree with.

  8. Daniel says

    The international LGBTA community really needs to discuss policies on diplomatic immunity, weapons treaties and other instruments if governments aren’t going to uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It took nuclear weapons to end human rights violations in World War II and less people suffered mass human rights violations during WWII than are experiencing mass human rights violations right now on the planet. A big chunk of the global LGBT comumunity – more than 200 million LGBT people – and even more friends and family are experiencing mass human rights violations right now on the planet at the hands of corrupt government officials and religious leaders.

  9. Bill says

    What is this sickness in Hetero-AIDS dominated Africa that seeks to destroy any other possible human form of love? At first I thought it was US based Christian evangelicals fanning the hatred but after reading “Islam Shall Rule” above, obviously, the Allah of fear and delusion is busy doing his vengeful best as well.

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