Kenya’s parliament has officially thrown out a proposal that would have punished homosexuality with death by stoning.
The reason is that lawmakers believe current laws, which imprisons gay people for up to 14 years, are satisfactory enough at this time.
This is the second time a proposal to have a law prescribing the death penalty has been denied by a committee.
“The [Justice and Legal Affairs] committee does not agree with the petitioner’s proposed legislation as it is unnecessary. Article 45 of the Constitution adequately safeguards and protects family values,’ a spokesperson for the committee said.
‘These provisions adequately protect the family values that apply in our democracy.’
But this is not the last we will see of the proposed legislation. The committee said they would reconsider the bill if the leader of the bill, Kiharu MP Irangu Kang’ata, could find more sponsors in parliament.
Speaking to Gay Star News, Kenyan LGBTI rights activist Denis Nzioka said while this is a ‘very good step’ for Kenya, it should still be a wake-up call.
He said: ‘We have seen a lot of anti-gay sentiment being brought out by people, politicians, religious leaders. People want to go the Ugandan way, Nigerian way.
‘I thought Kenya was a safe country, the best in the continent apart from South Africa for gay rights.
‘But things have got out of our hands. It just shows how in an instant – things can change dramatically.’