Homosexuality in Kenya is as bad a
problem as terrorism, majority
parliamentary leader Aden Duale has
said, but argued against stepping up
legal sanctions on the grounds that
existing laws were tough enough.
Duale was responding to a group of
MPs demanding tougher laws.
“Can’t we just be brave enough,
seeing that we are a sovereign state,
and outlaw gayism and lesbianism,
the way Uganda has done?” legislator
Alois Lentoimaga said.
Uganda has voted for life
imprisonment for some homosexual
acts, prompting some international
donors to suspend aid.
Duale, who speaks on behalf of the
government in the assembly, said:
“We need to go on and address this
issue the way we want to address
“It’s as serious as terrorism. It’s as
serious as any other social evil,”
Duale said, referring to a spate of
attacks by al Qaeda-linked Somali
Islamist militants carried out in
retaliation for Kenya’s intervention in
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But he said the Kenyan constitution
and the penal code already had
sufficient anti-gay provisions,
denying the government was
reluctant to tighten such laws for fear
of losing international aid.
Duale said 595 cases of
homosexuality had been investigated
in Kenya since 2010, when a new
constitution was adopted, and courts
had convicted or acquitted the
accused, while police had found no
organizations openly championing
homosexuality in violation of the law.
“We do not need to go the Uganda
way, we have the constitution and the
penal code to deal with
homosexuality, and so this debate is
finished, we will not be enacting any
new tougher laws,” Duale said later.
Homosexuality is broadly taboo in
Africa and illegal in 37 countries. Fear
of violence, imprisonment and loss of
jobs means few gays in Africa are
open about their sexuality.
Kenya’s penal code says any person
“who has carnal knowledge of any
person against the order of nature” is
guilty of a felony and can be jailed for
Anti-gay groups have emerged in
Kenya after Nigeria and Uganda
toughened up laws against
One of these groups, The Save Our
Men Initiative, has said it is launching
a “Zuia Sodom Kabisa” campaign,
meaning “prevent Sodom completely”
in Swahili, to “save the family, save
youth, save Kenya”.
Nigeria has outlawed same-sex
relationships. Gambia’s President
Yahya Jammeh has said
homosexuals are “vermin” and must
be fought like malaria-causing
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