Kenyan LGBTI rights activists protested outside the Ugandan High Commission in Nairobi on Monday to stand in solidarity with the Ugandan LGBTI community as their Parliament again prepares to consider draconian legislation to further criminalize homosexuality.
Ugandan Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi tweeted yesterday that the country’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which would see some people imprisoned for life for being gay, would be ‘fully debated and democratically resolved.’
On the same day dozens of Kenyan LGBTI activists took to the streets wearing rainbow masks to protect their identities with a rainbow banner reading ‘We stand in solidarity with our gay and lesbian Africans in Uganda – liberty knows no borders, freedom is coming.
The protesters tried to get a letter of protest to the Ugandan High Commissioner to Kenya but it was not accepted by staff at the building.
The Nairobi protest was held as part of a Global Day of Action against Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill, with events also occurring in New York and Bergen, Norway.
Earlier this month LGBTI Kenyans marched against draconian anti-gay laws being passed in Nigeria.
Mary Muthui, a lesbian member of LGBTI rights group Tushauriane Initiative Kenya, told Kenya’s Standard Digital that Ugandan lawmakers should be cautious about passing such a law lest it end up affecting someone in their own families.
‘I did not wake up one morning and made a choice to be a lesbian, as the risks and consequences are so many, but we as gays and lesbians have to live with it,’ Muthui said.
Kenyan National Gay and Lesbian Rights Commission director Eric Gitari told Standard Digital the protesters were asking for Ugandan President Goodluck Jonathan to understand how the law’s passage would affect his LGBTI countrymen and women.
‘We have come out in solidarity with our Ugandan counterparts to ask President Yoweri Museveni not to enact the bill as the effects of the bill have already made some of the gays and lesbians from Uganda to seek asylum in Kenya as their lives are in danger,’ Gitari said.
‘The law will also affect gay people traveling to Uganda as a travel ban is to be issued to this effect, this will not go well with the spirit of East African Unity as it will affect Uganda’s relations to her neighbors.’