Kenyan Supreme Court now in favour of LGBTQ groups despite hypocrisy of contradicting previous ruling

Photo by Tristan B. on Unsplash

By Haris Khawaja and Michal Okonski

The Kenyan Supreme Court has ruled that it regrets its 2013 ruling to stop the formation of the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC).

Photo by Tristan B. on Unsplash

The LGBTQ community in Kenya has been fighting for the creation of a government group focusing on tackling these oppressive laws, but the formation was blocked in 2013.

Kenya’s laws state that homosexuality or knowledge of another person’s homosexual acts is illegal, with punishment of up to 14 years of imprisonment. These laws were created by British colonialists before the country’s independence in 1963.

The decision was again blocked in 2019 by the High Court, stating that ‘it is against the order of nature’.

Kenya President William Ruto criticised the Supreme Court’s ruling, saying: “We shall not allow women to marry women and men to marry men. That is not possible in our country.” 

The president also expressed how important Christianity is in the country, stating that he asks “all religious leaders in the country to stand firm” against these “dirty teachings.”

Outcries in Kenya have been frequent since the killing of fashion designer and model Edwin Chiloba, who was found stuffed in a box with socks in his mouth in January. 

A homophobic zeitgeist has been prevalent in Kenya since the killing. More than half of the LGBTQ community have been assaulted for their sexuality in recent years, according to The Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya.

The supreme court’s stance is uncommon, as many religious countries in Africa (such as neighbouring Uganda) are passing bills to limit homosexuality and the expression of sexuality. 

Nyashadzashe Nguwo, Academic Executive at DSU, wanted to remind students of how important inclusivity is around campus.

He said: “Diversity and being yourself is important to me and the reason I ran for student leadership.”

Nyashadzashe comes from Zimbabwe, where a similar anti-LGBT rhetoric is common. He uses his position here at DMU to promote representation of everyone.

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