Democratic Republic of the Congo, Africa

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a country in central Africa with a small area of Atlantic coastline. Not to be confused with Republic of Congo (Brazzaville).

It is the third largest country (by area) in Africa. The name "Congo" refers to the river Congo, also known as the river Zaire. Though it is located in Central Africa, the nation is economically and regionally affiliated with Southern Africa. The Democratic Republic of the Congo was formerly, in turn, the Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Congo-Léopoldville, Congo-Kinshasa, and Zaire (or Zaïre in French).

The Second Congo War, beginning in 1998, devastated the country, involved seven foreign armies and is sometimes referred to as the "African World War". Despite the signing of peace accords in 2003, fighting continues in the east of the country. In eastern Congo, the prevalence of rape and other sexual violence is described as the worst in the world. The war is the world's deadliest conflict since World War II, killing 5.4 million people

There are no specific laws against gays in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Homosexual behavior is not mentioned as a criminal offense in the penal code, thus gay sexual activity is de facto legal. However, the Penal Code punishes "crimes against family life" and are used to punish homosexuals. A prison sentence can be from 5 to 20 years. There is no legal recognition of same-sex couples. The first paragraph of article 40, in the current Congolese constitution, states that "Every individual has the right to marry the person of their choice, of the opposite sex".



LGBTI people in Africa’s Congo driven to desperate lengths to survive

LGBTI people are too afraid to leave their homes because of the risk of extreme violence The frantic WhatsApp messages start pouring in one night, ‘help me my father found out I’m gay’. ‘I’m worried he’s going to kill me,’ one reads. ‘He says he doesn’t want me in the house, he thinks I’m a… Read more »

Congolese MP pushing to outlaw homosexuals and transgender people

An MP with the Parti Travailliste Congolais wants the Democratic Republic of Congo to jail homosexuals for up to 5 years and transgender people for up to 12 years – with minimum sentences of 3 years in jail for both Parti Travailliste Congolais (PTC) MP Steve Mbikayi is moving forward with a bill to criminalize… Read more »

DR Congo looks to ban gay sex

African country is one of the few to not explicitly ban homosexuality, but that could all change with the introduction of new legislation National Assembly member Steve Mbikayi wants to ban gay sex from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Gay sex could be banned in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). National Assembly… Read more »

Cops and neighbors with machetes raid gay youth safe house

Lesbian activist assaulted in Congo, house torn down, 21 LGBT young people made homeless. Householder was poisoned when she returned Police and neighbors, wielding hammers and machetes, raided the house of a Congloese lesbian who was sheltering LGBT young people, Gay Star News has learned. Once inside the property in Bukavu, in the east of… Read more »

Persecuted at Home, African Gays Seek Kenya Refuge

Until a new anti-homosexuality bill caused a wave of homophobia in Uganda, John and Paul could hold hands in the streets of the capital Kampala and kiss in night clubs. Then the nightmare started — people began insulting and then assaulting them, and then they had to run away to Kenya. The couple have been… Read more »

Democratic Republic of the Congo News & Reports

Useful website for LGBT Africa: 1 U.N. Forces Using Tougher Tactics to Secure Peace 5/05 2 "Sexual and reproductive rights are human rights"8/08 3 Uganda: You are Worth Nothing 6/09 4 Symbol of Unhealed Congo: Male Rape Victims 8/09 5 DRC Still Hostile To Homosexuality 10/09 6 Criminalising homosexuality in the DRC 11/10 7… Read more »