Tag: Kenya gay rights

Kenya’s Judges Uphold Laws That Criminalize Gay Sex

Kenya’s High Court has chosen to uphold colonial-era laws that criminalize gay sex, dashing the hopes of activists who believed the judges would overturn sections of the penal code as unconstitutional and inspire a sea change across the continent. Three judges said Friday that the laws in question did not target the LGBTQ community. They… Read more »

Lesbians, Gays Live in Fear of Attacks in Kenyan Refugee Camp

Nairobi — Eva Nabagala hoped she and her young son would be safe from her family when they fled Uganda for a Kenyan refugee camp – but instead, the 28-year-old says she was attacked and raped there as punishment for being a lesbian. “I have been threatened with death, I have been beaten, I have… Read more »

Gay refugees in Kenya report repeated attacks from locals

At Kenya’s sprawling Kakuma refugee camp, one of the world’s largest, LGBTQ refugees say they’re repeatedly beaten by locals and other refugees. For years, Ugandan refugee Mbazira Moses has been typing out emails to dozens of international humanitarian organizations and United Nations officials with a message: LGBTQ refugees at the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya… Read more »

Gay men seen dying from AIDS due to Africa’s homophobic laws

Nairobi (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Thousands of gay men in Africa are likely dying from HIV-related illnesses every year due to homophobic laws that stifle their chances of being tested and treated, said researchers behind a study published on Monday in The Lancet HIV journal. A study of the data of 45,000 gay men in… Read more »

LGBTI refugees stoned and beaten after unlawful eviction

It has been described as one of the worst situations ever seen by refugee advocates A landlord evicted a group of 76 LGBTI refugees in Kenya with no notice. Locals beat and stoned one man who tried to leave. The refugees known collectively as Great Lakes were living in the Kangemi area informal settlement in… Read more »

Gay rights in Kenya: ‘Why our fight isn’t over’

Kenya’s High Court has ruled against campaigners seeking to overturn a law banning gay sex. But there is much to be proud of in the fight for equality despite this setback, writes Kevin Mwachiro. Thirteen years ago, I would never have thought that Kenya could get to this point – that our LGBTQ community would… Read more »

Kenya’s High Court Upholds a Ban on Gay Sex

Nairobi, Kenya — Kenya’s High Court on Friday upheld laws that criminalize gay sex, declining to join the handful of nations that have recently abolished a prohibition imposed by Britain during the colonial era. The unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the court, announced in a courtroom packed with activists who wanted to see… Read more »

Kenya upholds law criminalising gay sex

Kenya’s High Court has ruled against campaigners seeking to overturn a law banning gay sex. The three judges rejected claims that the colonial-era law violated the new constitution, which guarantees equality, dignity and privacy. The penal code criminalises “carnal knowledge against the order of nature” – widely understood to refer to anal intercourse between men.… Read more »

Kenya: Court Upholds Archaic Anti-Homosexuality Laws

Activists Plan to Appeal (Nairobi) – Kenya’s High Court on May 24, 2019 upheld laws criminalizing homosexual acts between consenting adults, a step backward in the progress Kenya has made toward equality in recent years, Human Rights Watch said today. The court was addressing a petition filed in 2016 by three Kenyan organizations that work… Read more »

Binyavanga Wainaina: Kenyan author and LGBTI rights activist dies

He was named one of Time Magazine’s most influential people for his advocacy Kenyan LGBTI activist Kenneth Binyavanga Wainaina died yesterday (21 May) at the age of 48. Tom Maliti, the chairman of the Kwani Trust which Wainaina founded, told The Associated Press the journalist died Tuesday night in Nairobi after an illness. Born in… Read more »

In one week’s time, we will know whether Kenya is the next country to decriminalize gay sex.

The law has impacted LGBTI people living in the eastern African country for decades. Voices of Kenya, put together by All Out, gathers some of their experiences of discrimination and persecution. ‘The aim is to show that the question of legalisation is not a technical, purely legal, matter. Real people are getting hurt and suffer… Read more »

Kenya’s refugee camp Pride will be back despite violence and death threats

For security reasons they’ll keep the location of the Pride parade secret until the last minute Organizers of the first Pride parade in a refugee camp will defiantly return despite violence after the inaugural event. Mbazira Moses and his organization, Refugee Flag Kenya, put together the 2018 Pride at the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya.… Read more »

Selly Thiam’s Digital Media Organization Is Committed To Documenting Stories of Queer Africans

In 2004, Selly Thiam was working as a teacher in Chicago when she read about the murder of Sierra Leonean lesbian activist FannyAnn Eddy. Thiam, a Senegalese-American, was shaken by the news and also by how little she knew about LGBT activism in Africa. Harsh anti-LGBT laws across the African continent have kept many LGBT… Read more »

Kenyan gay man wants to change minds with new collection of LGBTI stories

Gay activist Denis Nzioka finds way around Kenyan anti-LGBTI discrimination in new anthology book #RafikiZetu: Kenyan LGBTIQ Stories, As Told By Allies is an anthology book aimed to promote acceptance of the LGBTI community in Kenya. Same-sex sexual acts are illegal per Section 162 of the Kenyan Penal Code and punishable by 5 to 14… Read more »

Kenya is close to legalizing homosexuality. What about the rest of Africa?

Nairobi — Across Africa and the world, LGBT communities are anxiously watching a court case in Kenya’s capital. The court is expected to either retain a colonial-era law that criminalizes homosexuality, or scrap it, which would put Kenya in a small group of African nations that give LGBT people equal legal rights. A ruling in… Read more »

Attacks Prompt Push to Relocate LGBTQ Refugees in Kenya

Massive camp housing hundreds of thousands of dispossessed Africans now unsafe Advocacy groups in Kenya are rushing to relocate LGBTQ refugees who are facing brutal retaliation from local communities and authorities after they protested a spike in homophobic attacks at the Kakuma Refugee Camp in the northwestern region of the East African nation. Refugees, fed… Read more »

UN moves LGBTI refugees to safe houses in Nairobi after Kenyan camp attacks

About 30 LGBTI refugees received injuries in a vicious attack after trying to rally for improved conditions at Kakuma Refugee Camp The UN has transferred LGBTI refugees to a safe house in Nairobi after they experienced violence from fellow refugees. About 30 LGBTI refugees received injuries in a vicious attack after trying to rally for… Read more »

Kenya High Court to rule on decriminalizing gay sex in February

The court heard arguments on how India’s landmark ruling this year affected Kenya’s court case Kenya’s High Court will rule on whether to repeal Section 162 of the Penal Code, which criminalizes gay sex, on 22 February 2019. On Thursday (25 October), judges heard final arguments relating to India’s decriminalization before making the announcement. Kenya’s… Read more »

Kenya’s High Court will decide whether to follow India’s gay sex verdict

Could Kenya become the next country to decriminalize homosexuality? Kenya’s High Court has allowed arguments whether India’s decision to scrapped its gay sex ban is relevant to Kenya. The court said it will allow parties to make submissions on the issue based on the Supreme Court of India’s decision to scrap Section 377 of the… Read more »

Kenya judge lifts ban and rules lesbian film can be submitted to the Oscars

Will this film win Best Foreign Film at next year’s Academy Awards? A Kenya judge has lifted the ban on a lesbian film and said it can be submitted to the Oscars. Rafiki, which means ‘friend’ in Swahili, was banned in Kenya due to its homosexual storyline. Given its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival,… Read more »

Lesbian romance director sues Kenya to lift ban on film

If the ban on “Rafiki” stays in place, it will not be eligible as Kenya’s Best Foreign Language Film entry for the 2019 Academy Awards. Nairobi – The Kenyan director of a movie banned in her home country for telling the love story of two women has filed a lawsuit seeking to lift the bar… Read more »

Following pride event, Kenya’s gay refugees fear for their lives

Approximately 600 people showed up for the first pride event held at one of the world’s largest refugee camps. The Kakuma Refugee Camp in northwestern Kenya held its first LGBTQ pride event on Saturday, but now the event’s organizers are in fear for their lives. After the event, which organizers said drew approximately 600 people,… Read more »

Director of Kenyan lesbian film says she’s been ‘threatened with arrest’

The director of a Kenyan lesbian film, which debuted at Cannes Film Festival this month, says her home country has warned her with the “threat of arrest.” Rafiki, which means friend in Swahili, is about two Kenyan girls who fall in love. It was banned in the African country after director Wanuri Kahiu reportedly refused… Read more »

President Uhuru Kenyatta Says Gay Rights Are ‘Of No Importance’ In Kenya

Appearing this week on CNN, President Uhuru Kenyatta claimed that gay rights are not an issue of human rights in Kenya. Christiane Amanpour, host of CNN International’s Amanpour, asked Kenyatta whether equal rights for sexual minorities is something he “aspires to” for Kenya, where gay sex is a crime and violators face up to 14… Read more »

Gay rights ruling in Kenya could reverberate through Africa

Gay rights activists are celebrating after a Kenyan court ruled that subjecting suspected gay men to forced anal testing was illegal. The landmark case marked a significant shift in sexual minority rights in the country, which activists hope will eventually lead to decriminalizing homosexuality in Kenya and other countries in the region. This case surrounds… Read more »

Gay Kenyans sense they may be on the brink of a historic legal triumph

Nairobi — Faced with police shakedowns and abuse, rejection from religious conservatives and rampant discrimination, Kenyan LGBT rights activists are challenging provisions of this former British colony’s Victorian-era penal code that implicitly outlaw gay sex. In a move that could spawn copycat tactics across Africa and beyond, three Kenyan LGBT rights groups have petitioned a… Read more »

Gay Kenyans sense they may be on the brink of a historic legal triumph

Nairobi — Faced with police shakedowns and abuse, rejection from religious conservatives and rampant discrimination, Kenyan LGBT rights activists are challenging provisions of this former British colony’s Victorian-era penal code that implicitly outlaw gay sex. In a move that could spawn copycat tactics across Africa and beyond, three Kenyan LGBT rights groups have petitioned a… Read more »

Kenyan Court Bans Anal Exams For Suspected Gays

A Kenyan appeals court on Thursday banned the use of forced anal exams to test whether two men had gay sex. Gay sex is a crime in Kenya and violators face up to 14 years in prison. The case involves two men accused of being gay in 2015. The men were subjected to forced anal… Read more »

Kenya Awaits Ruling In Landmark Case To Legalize Gay Sex

At present, persecution of LGBTQ people in the country is rife. Nairobi (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – When John Mathenge finished primary school in the early 1990s, he dreamed of becoming a lawyer. But his dreams were shattered when life showed him what being gay in Kenya meant. His sexual orientation was seen as sinful from… Read more »

The American who fled ‘gay conversion’ in Africa

A midnight taxi to the US embassy; an emergency flight home; a new life in New York. An ex-Muslim tells his story. Mahad Olad was in a Nairobi hotel room, looking at his mother. She was holding two articles from a student newspaper in New York. In the first article, Mahad, then 19, said he… Read more »

Kenya Betrays Its Promise to LGBT?People

In 2010, after a long and tumultuous struggle, Kenya passed a constitution that guarantees broad rights and freedoms, and it captured the aspirations of its citizens. The constitutional draft was overwhelmingly accepted in a national referendum. The new constitution has been described as one of the most progressive in the world. However, when it comes… Read more »

Kenya Bans ‘Andi Mack’ Over Gay Character, in Crackdown on LGBT Content

Kenyan authorities have banned the Disney Channel’s “Andi Mack” because of the program’s upcoming gay storyline, part of an ongoing crackdown in the African country on LGBT content. The decision by the Kenya Film Classification Board underscores the challenge for creators of LGBT content on a continent where local mores – and criminal codes –… Read more »

Kenya’s First Gay Health Clinic Provides Care Without the Judgment

Peter Njane was still in college when he first started volunteering with Ishtar, a community-based organization in Nairobi, Kenya. During that time in 2003, the organization was little more than a group of individuals getting together and discussing issues around being LGBTQ in the East African country. “I would come and help organize events,” Njane… Read more »

Kenya’s First Gay Health Clinic Provides Care Without the Judgment

Ishtar is a health care clinic in Nairobi, Kenya, that is run by and for gay men. Peter Njane was still in college when he first started volunteering with Ishtar, a community-based organization in Nairobi, Kenya. During that time in 2003, the organization was little more than a group of individuals getting together and discussing… Read more »

Kenya’s ‘gay tests’ ruled legal

A Kenyan High Court has dismissed a case challenging the legality of anal tests as proof of homosexuality. Two men, who say Kenyan police forced them to undergo the procedure to prove they had had gay sex, launched the case, calling for the tests to be declared unconstitutional. “There was no other way evidence could… Read more »

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta Says Gay Rights Are Not A ‘Pressing Issue’ For Kenyans

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday told CNN that Africans have more pressing issues to deal with than LGBT rights. On his recent trip to Kenya, President Barack Obama talked about such rights in a joint press conference with Kenyatta. “As an African-American in the United States, I am painfully aware of the history of… Read more »

Obama faces gay rights challenge in Kenya

As the United States has grown more tolerant during Obama’s presidency, African countries have imposed harsher laws on gays and lesbians. Six and a half years after Kenyans started naming their children in honor of America’s first black president, Barack Obama’s name has also become synonymous, often derisively, with gay rights. “Go wait for your… Read more »

5,000 naked anti-gay protesters to greet President Obama in Kenya

Nairobi, Kenya – An anti-gay political party in Kenya plans to protest against U.S. President Barack Obama by greeting him with 5,000 “totally naked” protesters for his “open and aggressive support for homosexuality.” The Republican Liberty Party’s “main objective is for him to see and understand the difference between a man and woman,” according to… Read more »

Quorum: How To Do LGBTI Activism In Kenya

When meeting anonymously with anti-gay religious leaders, Kenyan LGBTI activist Essy asks, “Do you really think that I should be beaten, now that you know me?” Quorum is a live journalism forum focused on LGBT experiences around the world. Its mission is to lift up the voices of non-Western LGBT activists defining the struggle for… Read more »

Tabloid joins politician, bishops in targeting LGBTI Kenyans

In the wake of last month’s High Court decision in favor of a Kenyan organization seeking human rights for LGBTI people, some anti-gay Kenyans have opened the door to even more intense persecution of LGBTI Kenyans. The latest step in that direction was today’s publication by Kenya’s tabloid Weekly Citizen of a list of the… Read more »