LGBT rights in Rwanda
|LGBT rights in Rwanda|
|Same-sex sexual intercourse legal status||Legal|
|No recognition of same-sex relationships|
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people living in Rwanda face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. While neither homosexuality nor homosexual acts are illegal, homosexuality is considered a taboo topic, and there is no significant public discussion of this issue in any region of the country. No special legislative protections are afforded to LGBT citizens, and same-sex marriages are not recognized by the state, as the Constitution of Rwanda provides that "[o]nly civil monogamous marriage between a man and a woman is recognized". LGBT Rwandans have reported being harassed, blackmailed, and even arrested by the police under various laws dealing with public order and morality.
Despite this, Rwanda is considered a leader in the progress on human rights for LGBT persons in East Africa. Rwanda is a signatory of the United Nations joint statement condemning violence against LGBT people, being one of the only few countries in Africa to have sponsored the declaration.
Kingdom of Rwanda
Republic of Rwanda
On 16 December 2009, the national Parliament debated whether to make homosexuality a criminal offense, with a punishment of 5–10 years imprisonment. This legislation was similar to the controversial anti-homosexuality bill in the neighboring country of Uganda. Justice Minister Tharcisse Karugarama, however, condemned and refuted reports that the Government intended to criminalize homosexual acts, saying that sexual orientation is a private matter, not a state business.
Recognition of same-sex relationships
Rwanda does not recognize same-sex marriages, civil unions or similar unions. Most gay people who have been interviewed stated that they are not open about their sexuality to their family for fear of being rejected.
Government and politics
Under Rwandan electoral laws, most of the political parties are aligned with, if not an extension of, the ruling party. The two Rwandan political parties that are not a part of the ruling coalition, the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party, have not taken an official position on LGBT rights. The Democratic Green Party of Rwanda has been attempting to become registered with the Government, although it has not taken any formal position on LGBT rights.
Since 2005, the Horizons Community Association of Rwanda has been doing some public advocacy on behalf of LGBT rights, although its members have often been harassed by the Government.
Society and culture
The U.S. Department of State's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016 stated that:
Acts of Violence, Discrimination, and Other Abuses Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
There are no laws that criminalize sexual orientation or consensual same-sex sexual conduct, and cabinet-level government officials expressed support for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons. LGBTI persons reported societal discrimination and abuse, and LGBTI rights groups reported occasional harassment by neighbors and police. There were no known reports of physical attacks against LGBTI persons, nor were there any reports of LGBTI persons fleeing the country due to harassment or attack.
In 2007, the Anglican Church in Rwanda condemned "the non biblical behaviors" of the European and American churches and insisted that they would not support the ordination of gay clergy. They vowed to refuse donations from churches that support LGBT rights.
Likewise, the Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of Rwanda called homosexuality, "moral genocide" and against Rwandan culture because sexuality may only be expressed within the bounds of a marriage between a man and a woman.
|Same-sex sexual activity legal|
|Equal age of consent|
|Anti-discrimination laws in hate speech and violence|
|Anti-discrimination laws in employment|
|Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services|
|Same-sex marriage||(Constitutional ban since 2003)|
|Recognition of same-sex couples|
|Stepchild adoption by same-sex couples|
|Joint adoption by same-sex couples|
|LGBT people allowed to serve openly in the military|
|Right to change legal gender|
|Access to IVF for lesbians|
|Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples|
|MSMs allowed to donate blood|
- Spartacus International Gay Guide, page 1216. Bruno Gmunder Verlag, 2007.
- Article 26 of the Constitution of the Republic of Rwanda
- "Gay Rwanda 2008". 2009-01-01. Archived from the original on 2012-07-17.
- "Homosexuality isn't our Problem–Says President Kagame". KT Press Rwanda. 25 September 2016.
- "Over 80 Nations Support Statement at Human Rights Council on LGBT Rights » US Mission Geneva". Geneva.usmission.gov.
- Gay in the Great Lakes of Africa
- Africa’s Culture War: The Fight Over Uganda's Anti-Gay Bill – The World Newser Archived 23 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
- Anti-gay bill in Uganda challenges Catholics to take a stand | National Catholic Reporter
- Rwanda: Govt Cannot Criminalise Homosexuality - Minister
- Gay Rwanda 2005 Archived 9 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
- Gay Rwanda 2008, GlobalGayz.com, 1 January 2009 Archived 17 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
- RWANDA 2016 HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT
- Rwanda: Anglicans Reject Western Accusations of Rebellion, American Anglican Council, 14 August 2007 Archived 16 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
- "de beste bron van informatie over rwandagateway. Deze website is te koop!". rwandagateway.org. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 2014-04-11.
- "de beste bron van informatie over rwandagateway. Deze website is te koop!". rwandagateway.org. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 2014-04-11.