DRC bishop proposes anti-gay law

Published: October 25, 2010

A Democratic Republic of Congo bishop and lawmaker said Monday he had put forward a bill that would make homosexuality a punishable offence, as being gay was an “abomination”.

“We would like the law to punish homosexuality, bestiality and necrophilia. Morally, homosexuality is a deviation, and spiritually, it is an abomination,” Ejiba Yamapiale told AFP.

The bill comprises seven articles including imprisonment and fines for homosexuals, and will be debated by the National Assembly’s committee on society and culture.

“We have proposed this law to moralise our society,” said Yamapiale, who leads the Pentecostal Church of Saviours in the capital Kinshasa.

“As Africans, we know that there is polygamy but there must not be men who sleep with other men, with animals or corpses,” he said.

“It is necessary to punish these unnatural practices, which do not fit with our values,” he said.

Homophobia is widespread across Africa. The law put forward by Yamapiale echoes similar anti-gay legislation in Uganda, while last year two Malawian men were jailed after staging the country’s first gay wedding.

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