The High Court in Nairobi has declined to decriminalize homosexuality in Kenya.
In a ruling on Friday, a three-judge bench comprising of Justices Roselyne Aburili, Chacha Mwita and John Mativo quashed a case by gay rights activists who were seeking to have sections of Kenya's Penal Code that illegalize same-sex relationships declared unconstitutional.
The judges noted that Section 162 (a) and (c) of the Penal Code clearly stated that homosexuality is illegal in Kenya.
The section states: “Any person who — (a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature; or (c) permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.”
Another section recommends a five-year jail sentence for “indecent practices between males”.
The petitioners also argued that the laws violate the right to privacy, the right to freedom of expression, the right to human dignity and the right to freedom from discrimination.
The judges further dismissed the petitioners’ claims that failure to decriminalize homosexuality would lead to continued stigmatization of the LGBTQ community.
“There is no basis upon which the court can say they [LGBTQ community] will be discriminated. We, [therefore], dismiss the case that they will be discriminated,” said the court.
“Stigma is not exclusive to the LGBTQ community. Everyone has the right to access health.”