Kenya celebrates positive contributions of LGBT people

Human rights groups in Kenya have joined together to celebrate the positive contributions of LGBT people and their allies to Kenyan society

Kenya’s Human Rights Commission (KHRC) and National Gay and Lesbian Rights Commission (NGLHRC) have launched an annual awards ceremony to celebrate the contributions of LGBT people to Kenyan society and to celebrate allies of the LGBT community in Kenya.

The launch of the awards was to take place today at Nairobi’s Charter Hall and would also honour pro-LGBT employers and journalists who dealt with LGBT issues in a fair and balanced manner.

‘The KHRC and NGLHRC are committed to promote dialogue on sexual and gender diversity and to advance the full participation, equality and inclusion of LGBTIQ individuals in the Kenyan society,’ an invite for the event read.

‘This is in pursuit of the national values of human dignity, equity, social justice, inclusiveness, equality, human rights, non discrimination and protection of the marginalized as articulated in article 10 of the Constitution of Kenya.

‘We reaffirm that the agenda of sexual rights is not about creating “new” rights, but rather acknowledging that people have same rights. This includes the right to sexual orientation and gender identity and to participate and be recognised in the economic, social and political life of their community with and beyond their sexual identities and preferences.’

Nominees in the Employer of the Year Award for ‘employers that have been non-discriminating in hiring LGBTIQ individuals, and are creating an affirming and supportive work environment and promoting sexual diversity and LGBTIQ culture in the workforce’ include Google Kenya, Coca-Cola East and Central Africa, Fahamu Africa, HIAS Trust and the Duke of Breeze Hotel, Kisumu.

Nominees in the Journalist Of The Year Award for ‘substantial, balanced reporting on LGBTI human rights issues in mainstream media’ include KTN’s Anne Soi-Mwendia, K24’s Stella Kasina, NTV’s Joy Wanja, The Star’s Monica Mwangi and Internews in Kenya’s Patrick Rukwaro.

Homosexuality is technically illegal in Kenya but the law is rarely enforced.

Earlier this year David Kuria became the first openly gay man to nominate for a senate seat in Kenya but withdrew after receiving death threats.

by Andrew Potts
Source – Gay Star News