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Cablegate: Request for Information On Human Rights Trends In

VZCZCXYZ0027
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKI #1162 3641358
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 301358Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0524
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SADC COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS KINSHASA 001162

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/FO, AF/S, AND AF/RSA: MAZEL, GRIESMER, DEES

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PGOV SOCI CG
SUBJECT: REQUEST FOR INFORMATION ON HUMAN RIGHTS TRENDS IN
AFRICA PERTAINING TO SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND GENDER
IDENTITY: DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

REF: STATE 130765

1. In response to reftel, no known specific anti-gay laws are on
the books in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), nor is any bill
under consideration in parliament that would make homosexuality
illegal, as long as the relationship is not violent or flaunted
publicly. Several articles of the penal code deal with rape and
decency that can be applied in same sex situations. Rape
perpetrated by either a man or woman against someone of the same
gender is considered rape and would be prosecuted as such. In
addition, public displays of homosexuality are prosecutable as
violating public decency according to both the penal code and the
2006 law against sexual violence. Article 40 of the Constitution
stipulates that any individual is entitled to marriage with a person
of the opposite gender for the purpose of founding a family and the
DRC Family Code defines marriage as that between a man and a woman.


2. Although no groups are actively working on this issue today, in
2006 the legal profession did call for the government to address the
homosexual relationship question in the Constitution. Congolese
lawyer Pathy Lendo advocated for this attention because "the DRC
laws were silent on this issue." The UN/MONUC Joint Office of Human
Rights confirms that there are no known local NGO's or other
organizations lobbying for this human rights item.
3. Historically, homosexuality has been frowned upon by the
Congolese culture. Some indigenous cultures in the DRC exist where
gay men were used as women in rich men's harems, but these are
generally looked down upon and considered abnormal. The local
population blames the influx of the UN and international community
in the DRC for bringing the issue out of the closet. Homosexuality
is gaining some acceptance in cities and among younger generations,
despite being viewed as unacceptable in rural areas.

Garvelink

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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