Kenya will join Uganda and Nigeria in enacting tougher laws against sexual minorities, Kenyan LGBT rights activist and journalist Denis Nzioka predicts.
His prediction is the exact opposite of the approach taken in a recent Global Post / Denver Post article, “Kenya may be uniquely ripe for advances in gay rights.”
That article states, “Kenyans seem increasingly willing to accept homosexuality as a fact of life, or to move beyond political posturing over the subject altogether.”
It cites the public reception of renowned Kenyan author Binyavanga Wainaina when he came out publicly by publishing a short story entitled, “I am a homosexual, mum.” The article reports:
“In Nairobi, Binyavanga is walking around very freely and casually, almost like a hero,” said Tom Odhiambo, a Professor of Literature at the University of Nairobi and editor of a new collection of stories by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Kenyans. “He could not do that in Lagos (Nigeria).”
But Nzioka says such signs are deceiving, because Kenyan politicians and others are preparing a backlash.
“It might be sooner than you expect,” he says. Nzioka notes:
There will be a demonstration against homosexuality organised by the lobby group, Maendeleo ya Wanaume (MYW).
Dubbed “Not in Africa” the demo been planned for February 24, according to Nderitu Njoka from MYW announced on Tuesday [Feb. 18].
Speaking to journalists in Nairobi, Mr Njoka said the ‘phenomenal growth’ for gay and lesbian rights was alarming and has become a threat to the social fabric of the African continent.
[VIDEO of Kenyan MPs calling for the arrest of gay activists.]
In addition, according to other reports, the legislators have formed a caucus to fight gayism in Kenya. It was launched on Tuesday to coordinate all plans and activities meant to oppose any form of homosexuality.
According to a report carried in the Standard, several MPs are planning to summon the Attorney General and the Director of Public Prosecutions over the alleged laxity in enforcing provisions in the law that criminalise same-sex acts.
The three MPs allied to the Jubilee Coalition of Government, Irungu Kangata (Kiharu), John Njoroge (Kasarani) and Julius Ndegwa (Lamu West) said they were ‘appalled’ by recent activities of pro- gay groups in public. This comes after gay activists protested anti-gay laws in Uganda and Nigeria at their High Commissions in Nairobi.
“We will be raising this question in the floor of the house and have the DPP and AG summoned to explain why police have failed to arrest perpetrators of these crimes,” MP Kangata said while likening gay activities to crime of stealing or murder.
The legislators also called into question why those Kenyans who openly declared they are homosexual – such as Binyavanga Wainaina – were not arrested.
Kenyan legislators were responding to a protest on Feb. 10 in which LGBT Kenyans, dressed in rainbow wigs and masks, urged Uganda’s president not to sign the harsh Anti-Homosexuality Bill there.
Kenyan law provides up to 14 years in prison for same-sex activity, but that law has rarely been enforced.
For more information, read:
- Nzioka’s full article “Why Kenya will follow Uganda, Nigeria in enacting new anti-homosexuality laws” and
- The Global Post / Denver Post article “Kenya may be uniquely ripe for advances in gay rights.”
More related articles
- Kenyan MPs To Demand Enforcement of Laws Criminalizing Homosexuality (towleroad.com)
- Lobby plans anti-gay protest (nation.co.ke)
- Kenyan author lashes out at anti-gay laws: I’m gay (sfgate.com)
- MPs to fight homosexuality (nation.co.ke)
- Kenyan politicians respond to Obama plea by forming new anti-gay group (pinknews.co.uk)
- Global conflict: Gay rights, repression in Africa (76crimes.com)
- Obama ‘disappointed’ with Uganda’s anti-gay law (76crimes.com)
- Kenyan clergy: 50 pastors here support gay rights (76crimes.com)