LGBT rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- This article is about the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire). For the Republic of the Congo (also known as Congo-Brazzaville), see LGBT rights in the Republic of the Congo.
|LGBT rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo|
|Same-sex sexual activity legal?||Legal1|
Same-sex sexual activity is legal the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Age of consent is equal, regardless of sex.1 Homosexual acts have never been explicitly outlawed in the country's history. Before the foundation of the state in 1960, the Democratic Republic of the Congo was ruled by the European colonial power Belgium. In Belgium, homosexual acts were decriminalized in 1794.
Although same-sex sexual activity is legal, the U.S. Department of State's 2010 Human Rights Report found that "individuals engaging in public displays of homosexuality were subject to prosecution under public decency provisions in the penal code and articles in the 2006 law on sexual violence."2
There is no legal recognition of same-sex unions. 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".4
The U.S. Department of State's 2010 Human Rights Report found that "homosexuality remained a cultural taboo, and while harassment by state security forces continued, there were no reports during the year of police harassing gays and lesbians or perpetrating or condoning violence against them."2
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