Kenya LGBT Community Rights

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Kenya LGBT Community Rights

Bishop Hudson Ndeda’s Plea to the Judiciary

On Wednesday, Bishop Hudson Ndeda, the head of the Church and Clergy Association of Kenya, voiced his concerns in the daily newspaper, The Star. He is urging the Kenyan Supreme Court to reconsider its earlier decision of the year, allowing members of the LGBT community to form associations. An appeal was made, but the Supreme Court dismissed it this week. This brings the issue of homosexuality back into the spotlight of Kenyan politics, while a bill to criminalize it is still pending in Parliament. Hudson Ndeda expressed being “shocked” by the recent stands of the Kenyan Supreme Court and is thus calling on President William Ruto to break his silence on this matter.

The Pending “Family Protection” Bill

Since April, the “Family Protection” bill, introduced by the opposition and backed by the Church, is awaiting a vote in Parliament. This legislation proposes to make homosexuality a criminal offense, recommending sentences ranging from 10 years of imprisonment to capital punishment.

The Role of Parliament and the Presidency in Legislation

“Laws are passed by an independent Parliament, without the presidency getting involved,” Emmanuel Talam, spokesperson for William Ruto, explained to RFI.

International Reactions to the Proposed Legislation

This bill is causing discomfort to the Kenyan government as it is unpopular among some partner countries. In July, 49 American lobbies asked their government to halt trade negotiations with Kenya until the “Family Protection” bill was withdrawn.

Hope and Perspective from the Kenyan LGBT Community

However, the Kenyan LGBT community remains hopeful: the recent positions of the Supreme Court “do not constitute an attack on the family,” says Ivy Werimba, spokesperson for Galck+, the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya. “On the contrary, they allow all Kenyans and their families to live freely.”

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