Gay Kenyans warn Uganda-style anti-gay bill is coming

Parliamentary group has launched in Nairobi with the aim of enforcing more extreme anti-gay laws in Kenya

Gay Kenyans warn Uganda-style anti-gay bill is coming
28 February 2014

Gay rights activists are fighting to stop a Uganda-style anti-gay bill in Kenya.

Denis Nzioka, a gay rights activist in Kenya, and his colleagues are planning to combat against an anti-gay parliamentary caucus to address the ‘issue’ of homosexuality.

Led by Kiharu MP Irungu Kangata, the leaders have demanded anti-gay laws in the African country to be stricter and enforced.

‘We will be raising this question in the floor of the house and have the [Director of Public Prosecutions] and the [Attorney General] to explain why police have failed to arrest perpetrators of these crimes,’ Kangata said, while likening homosexuality to stealing or murder.

As Uganda and Nigeria have enacted strict anti-gay laws, several lobby groups and religious associations have also called for more extreme anti-gay laws.

According to Pew Research, 90% of Kenyans also support greater oppression of the LGBTI community.

Activists on the ground have predicted a Uganda/Nigeria anti-gay bill can’t be far from reality.

Speaking to Gay Star News, Nzioka said: ‘I am worried it will actually happen.

‘While the bill would still need to pass through parliament, and this will take a long time.

‘But the community, human rights groups, are planning a counter-plan to make sure it never sees the light of day.’

The gay rights activist explained they are hoping to stop the bill from happening by going through the direct, legal route.

If they can the Constitutional Court to agree any bill would be unconstitutional, and therefore get an injunction on any anti-gay legislation, it could not go any further.

He predicts Kenya will not be the only country to follow suit after Uganda and Nigeria, especially with the predominantly Muslim countries up in the north.

‘I know that some of these leaders engage on this level and of course talk of criminalizing homosexuality,’ he said.

‘They are playing politics with homosexuality, it is their trump card. Politicians will use any means to make sure they are elected.

‘And nothing is more of an issue than homosexuality.’

He added: ‘There is a lot of anti-American, European sentiment at the moment, especially because Russia has been so vocal on its anti-gay stance.

‘The politicians think, “We don’t need Americans. We don’t need Europeans. We can focus on other countries for help".’

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