The New Times and Rwanda must lead from the front on gay rights

Editor, I am a young homosexual man of Rwandan decent. I’m writing in reaction to an article posted Tuesday 9th February 2010 on homosexuality. I thought it was thoughtful and well articulated and fairly informed on the issues compared to what has been written before in this publication. However, I can’t help but wonder what homosexuality, rape and sodomy of minors has to do with each other.
Tharcisse Karugarama Rwandan Justice Minister clarified the governmen’s position on gays. (File photo)
Tharcisse Karugarama Rwandan Justice Minister clarified the governmen’s position on gays. (File photo)

Editor,

I am a young homosexual man of Rwandan decent. I’m writing in reaction to an article posted Tuesday 9th February 2010 on homosexuality. I thought it was thoughtful and well articulated and fairly informed on the issues compared to what has been written before in this publication.

However, I can’t help but wonder what homosexuality, rape and sodomy of minors has to do with each other.

The problem with the bill being discussed in Uganda is that there is no clear distinction or clear explanation in the bill of what it means by “” certain aggravated forms of non-consensual homosexuality.”

I live in the West and for the most part there is a clear distinction of laws on sodomy against minors and rape.

Instead of defending some of these ill-conceived laws and bills, I feel the media responsibility should focus on educating the population on certain ambiguity about the issue and stop perpetuating the idea that this is a West versus Africa issue-it isn’t.

This is a human right issue, to be treated with sensitivity and caution. As Rwandans, I feel we should be leading at the front of human rights issues and this will not happen without media guidance.

Philippe Chico

chicoblk@yahoo.com

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