Police shut down IDAHO gay march in Kenya

Police stop LGBT community from holding procession aimed at stopping homosexuality being a criminal offence

Police in Kenya have stopped people marching through the capital Nairobi today (17 May) to mark International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO).

A permit had been issued to allow Kenyan LGBTs and supporters to procession.

But this morning police withdrew the permit just as the event was about to start on Freedom Corner, Uhuru Park.

Julie Jules, Out in Kenya community leader, told Gay Star News: ‘Basically the police stopped the procession because we would be seen to be “promoting homosexuality”.

‘Being homosexual in Kenya is a criminal offence currently according the penal code.’

The state frequently punishes LGBTs for their sexuality.

Jules said: ‘Why is this significant? [Because] The procession would have created awareness and made us, LGBTQIA Kenyans visible to others.

‘Confining us to one place further enhances the “invisibility” of our community perpetuated by government bodies.

‘The procession was to head over to Sheria House to give a petition to the Attorney General to scrap those laws that oppress us.

‘This of course would attract a lot of media attention as well as putting the government “on report”. Stopping the procession denies us the opportunity to be seen publicly engaging the legal instruments of our country.

‘But we will not be frustrated or discouraged. We will keep going.’

The Out in Kenya community intend to continue the rest of their plans for IDAHO including an after party with LGBT human rights lectures and cocktails.

by Suzie Shepard
Source – Gay Star News