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Rwanda : A Church against the decriminalization of homosexuality

\nA leaked position paper by the Forum of Born Again Churches of Rwanda\n(FOBACOR), indicates a storm is brewing between the Church and the\nState over the latter’s decision to decriminalize homosexuality/lesbianism.\n\n

Avatar of Alessia Valenza

26th May 2010 15:04

Alessia Valenza

The strongly worded statement of which has got a copy is
specially harsh on Rwanda’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General,
Tharcise Karugarama who is on record saying: “The government I serve
and speak for on certain issues cannot and will not in any way
criminalize homosexuality; sexual orientation is a private matter and
each individual has his or her own orientation – this is not a State
matter at all.”

The Church body accuses the Attorney General of violating the
Rwandan constitution in articles 26 and 27 and other instruments of
international law.
Article 27 of the Rwandan constitution states: “The family, which is
the natural foundation of Rwandan society, is protected by the State,
and article 26 says, “Only civil monogamous marriage between a man and
a woman is recognized.”

One influential pastor who spoke to but preferred
anonymity because he is not the spokesperson of the group said in
Kinyarwanda: “Leta yafashwe kungufu” meaning that the state was
raped by the donor community.

Recently President Paul Kagame told an international audience in
Kigali that the state had intentionally made homosexuality ‘a grey

Our various sources say, however, that the donor community gave Rwanda
an ultimatum to allow homosexuality or risk having its financial aid
cut off.

Some anger is also directed at Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church
one of Kagame’s international friends, for purportedly supporting
decriminalization of gays.

The position paper states that Western societies live in extreme
individualism largely because of homosexuality and argues for the
beauty of heterosexual relationships.

The paper states in part:

“In the mysterious use of the sex organs, a man’s organ with the
sensation of the billions of cells of his body behind it, meet the
sensation of the woman’s sex organ with her own billions of cells.
This is the beauty of creation. In that ecstasy, man and woman become
one and a new life of love that combines elements of their love, life
and lineage is born and connects vertically to the eternal God.”

The draft penal code earlier proposed under article 217 states: “Any
person who practices, encourages or sensitizes people of the same sex,
to sexual relations or any sexual practice shall be liable for a term
of imprisonment ranging from five [5] to ten [10] years and fine
ranging from two hundred thousand francs [200,000Frw] to one million
Rwandan francs [1,000,000Frw]”.

The position paper is headed to the Senate and President Kagame. Meanwhile, the churches are mobilizing their members for a showdown with the State.

The powerful lobby of civil society influenced by donor money led by
disguised homosexuals have lobbied successfully for the article to be
scrapped from the penal code and has already passed the lower chamber
of parliament and is already in the Senate.