A gay couple in Kenya have been made homeless over the visit to the country by US President Barack Obama.
Peter, 26 and John, 29, who we will not give their last names to protect their identities, were evicted by their landlord as the surrounding debate and anger over LGBTI rights heightens.
They were living in an apartment estate in Kabete, a county on the outskirts of Nairobi for the last two years.
The landlord, and some of the neighbors, had suspected they were a gay couple. They had told them they were friends living together as a way of saving money.
But with the media and lawmakers claiming that Obama is coming to Kenya in order to ‘promote same-sex marriage’, the epitome of the ‘evil Western values’ being imposed on Africa, Peter and John were the ones to suffer.
On Friday (3 July), the landlord evicted the couple and told them to ‘go wait for your Obama’.
This meant that one of them was forced to go home to live with their homophobic parents while the other was forced to go to poverty-stricken accommodation until he gets back on his feet.
Speaking to Gay Star News, Kenyan LGBTI rights activist Denis Nzioka said: ‘This is the real world of living in a homophobic society. The anti-LGBT crusade is still very much here.
‘There have been more beatings, evictions and attacks when public discourse focuses on the community. It gets heightened, and it will only increase momentum as Obama’s visit gets closer.’
Lawmakers have threatened to tell Obama to ‘shut up and go home’ if he mentions the ‘gay agenda’, and the Kikuyu Council of Elders has said they will throw ‘rotten eggs’ at the president.
When questioned about what Obama will speak about during his visit, White House Press Secretary Joshua Earnest said he was confident the president will ‘make clear that the protection of basic fundamental human rights in Kenya is also a priority and consistent that we hold dear here in the United States of America’.
‘Obama is not coming here to propose same-sex marriage,’ Nzioka added to GSN. ‘From his White House statement, I expect he’ll speak on broader issues of human rights and in that might come respect for sexual orientation. How he frames that is Obama’s job. He won’t promote same-sex marriage, I’m sure.
‘If he does get very specific about LGBTI human rights issues, people would be very angry that he’s coming here to promote gays. They’ll say they need US aid, not gays.
‘If he mentions it, it is good to speak about LGBTI human rights issues. But if he doesn’t mention it at all, then the haters will have egg on their face. We will have to see what happens next.
‘Whatever happens, I hope there is no risk to the lives of LGBTI Kenyans by adding fuel to the fire.’