Kenya’s anti-gay laws challenged

Kenya’s High Court began hearing arguments today challenging parts of the penal code seen as targeting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. The National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission argues that sections of the code are in breach of the constitution. In Kenya consensual same-sex relations between adults remain illegal.

The code is also used to justify violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the East African nation said the commission’s executive director, Eric Gitari.

“People just rush to make decisions and judgment about queer people when the truth is, it is not as bad as it is put out there,” activist Jay Arap Salat said. “It is not about the monstrous things people say about us. It is not about pedophilia, sodomizing or things like those. It is just love, we are out here, we are love, we just want love and to love each other.”

Legislator Irungu Kangata, who challenged the petition, called homosexuality a lifestyle choice.

“Well, I am somehow perturbed to see that this case is being supported by the westerners,” Kangata said. “It is a form of western colonization. They want to demean Africans. They want to demean us Kenyans.”

Good luck to the petitioners.