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Lawyer challenges Kenya’s rejection of pro-LGBT group

Eric Gitari of the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission of Kenya speaks in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Michael K. Lavers courtesy of the Washington Blade.)

Eric Gitari of the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission of Kenya speaks in Washington, D.C. in mid-October 2013.  (Photo by Michael K. Lavers courtesy of the Washington Blade.)

Eric Gitari, director at the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission in Kenya, has gone to court in hopes of compelling the Kenyan government to give official recognition to his group, which  seeks to improve the lives of LGBT people.

Kenyan law provides for up to 14 years in prison for homosexual activity.  Occasionally LGBT people have been charged with violating that law but no one has been convicted in recent years.

Kenya’s Standard Digital News reports:

The Government has been sued for refusing to register a Non-Governmental Organisation to cater for the interests of gays and lesbians in Kenya.

The case has been lodged at the High Court in Nairobi by a lawyer, Eric Gitari, who is accusing the Non-Governmental Organisations Coordination Board of refusing to accept his application for registration. The lawyer who says he has been championing the rights of gays, lesbians, and transgender people since 2010, wants the court to compel the NGO Board to facilitate the registration of the lobby. …

He accuses the Board of discriminating against lesbians and gays contrary to the provisions of the Constitution. …

He proposed three names — National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, National Coalition of Gays and Lesbians in Kenya, and National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Association.

The reason [for rejecting the names, as explained] by the NGO Board, was that the names were not acceptable because the penal code under Section 12 criminalises gay and lesbian liaisons.

Gitari says he made it clear to the NGO Board that the lobby was not intended to further criminalised activities of gay persons as stipulated in the penal code but was intended for purposes of furthering the well-being of homosexuals, bisexuals and transgender groups who are a minority group in Kenya. …

He argues that the lobby should be registered because the Constitution provides that the State shall not discriminate directly or indirectly against any person on any ground including sex.

LGBT people in Kenya are also served by the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya, medical clinics that distribute government-provided condoms to LGBT people, and the online news outlet Identity Kenya.

For more information, read the full story in Standard Digital News: “Kenya : Lawyer seeks to have government compelled to register lobby to champion gay rights.”

2 thoughts on “Lawyer challenges Kenya’s rejection of pro-LGBT group

  1. Pingback: 60 to 90 arrested in raid on gay bar in Nairobi | 76 CRIMES

  2. Pingback: High Court issues landmark decision on the NGLHRC’s right to register | Kenne's Blog

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