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A one of a kind religious liberties vs. gay rights public opinion coming to Kenya will bring with it a national debate: Can God and the gay rights movement mix?
As Kenyas High Court ordered the government to register a gay rights group that the government had earlier refused to recognize on moral and religious grounds last month, one thing was clear: win or lose, the gay rights movement has made huge inroads.
Opponents have questioned the ruling constitutionality and say its passage would allow state-sanctioned discrimination, destroying Kenyaâ€™s reputation and, through trial and error, theyâ€™re determined to continue, recalibrating, hoping to get it just right.
The debate comes amid fear after Kenyaâ€™s Citizen Weekly Newspaper dated 11 May 2015 exposed 12 LGBTI activists and leaders claiming to expose more politicians and a gospel singer as it cited on its front page headline : TOP GAYS, LESBIANS LIST IN KENYA OUTâ€™. Moreover, a conservative Kenya society where 96% of Kenyan residents believe that homosexuality is societal curse and shouldnâ€™t be accepted and allowed by all means.
â€œSame-sex marriage has fundamental implications for the place of the family in our society, and so requires extremely careful examination," Ann Wanjiru Kibicho, University Of Nairobi Alumni told us on phone.
In doing so, the high Court undercut much of the support for laws that discriminate against homosexuals or treat them differently. â€œFor many persons these are not trivial concerns but profound and deep convictions accepted as ethical and moral principles,â€ the justices acknowledged. The issue before the Court, however, was not one of morality â€œbut whether the majority may use the power of the State to enforce these views on the whole society through operation of the criminal law,â€ the Court concluded. â€œâ€˜Our obligation is to define the liberty of all, not to mandate our own moral code so state "cannot rely on religious texts or its views of what the moral and religious convictions of Kenyans are to justify the limitation of a right."
Dishon Dubai Kirangi, a Kirinyaga county based politician lamented why gay rights activists are trying to harness their momentum on same-sex marriage to push for anti-discrimination laws yet the constitution is clear, â€œArticle 45 of the constitution states that marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both opposite sexes which imply that same-sex marriage is not permitted. Also, the Kenyan Penal Code of 1930 states that any person who attempts to commit unnatural offenses and indecent practices is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven yearsâ€.
While same-sex marriage has become increasingly common in the U.S. and Western Europe and has become a tool of campaign, its still rare in Kenya. In 2010, Kenya Prime Minister Raila Odinga who was a frontrunner presidential hopeful candidate in Kenyaâ€™s 2013 elections ordered the arrest of gay and lesbian couples. Also on this month, Kenyas Deputy President William Ruto said there was "no room" for homosexuality in Kenyan society in remarks at a church service. "The Republic of Kenya is a republic that worships God. We have no room for gays and those others," Ruto told a Nairobi church congregation in Swahili.
Thereâ€™s no doubt here whether the debate about religious liberties vs. gay rights in Kenya gains the momentum. The debate is: Is the Kenyan society going to embrace homosexuality?
By Samuel Wamwea Sr
When the West came knocking the door back in the 19th century or thereabouts, things were never going to be the same again. The good ,and the ,bad and the ugly. The latest casualty, moral compass. The issue of homosexuality has been creeping into our society slowly. They used white preachers and expatriates to molest young boys and men amongst other methods as a way of spreading this vice. Now those males have no apetitie for females...shame. For females, the reverse of male preachers and expatriates. This is not part of the African genome, it was exported to Africa. It is high time Africa stood its ground, Museveni style.
Can God and the Gay rights movement mix?
The problem with this question is that it is DECEPTIVE at it's core. If the Judeo-Christian God is being spoken about then the error in this question arises. Homosexuality is a vice just like pedeophilia, murder, gossip, land grabbing and lying.
If you replace the vice of homosexuality in this question with the vice of murder even the most ardent proponents of the gay movement would have their knickers in a twist. Suggest a rights group for land grabbers and all and sundry rise up in arms.
God and the gay rights movement do mix in the Judeo-Christian faith but only if you see as He sees and not as you see. The Judeo-Christian God is for the person caught up in the act of homosexual but the same God is against the vice of homosexuality. He is for those who commit murder but at the same time He is against the vice of murder.
In God there is no difference between the murderer and the thief, the gossiper and the homosexual, the land grabber and the pedeophile. All vices are treated equal before God and all people are equal. The problem of course is our eyes but we dare not insult our intelligence with such thinking. It is far easier to blame God for the speck in His eyes and ignore the tree in ours.
Our civil liberties certainly allow us to do away with the moral laws of God and so we should for we see as we do.
LGBT rights in Kenya is very complex and based on many misconception such as
- It is a spreadable disease or vice - I am yet to read a scientific report stating that homosexuality is aspreadalbe.
- Homosexuality is un-African - Well, considering the cradle of humanity is in Kenya we can simply deduct that so is homosexuality. Also, I guarantee that in pre-colonial time , homosexuality was present in African societies.
- It is a disease from the West - Actually, the West via their religious beliefs imported in Africa hatred toward Homosexuality.
- Animal don't practice homosexuality - So far at least 1500 species have been discovered with homosexual tendencies.
- Pedophilia is synonym with homosexuality - it is not but some people like to mix and match , out of context, these terms to prove a point.
- Homosexuals carry AIDS - We all know the AIDS virus was discovered in Africa.
Actually, all the myths about homosexuality can be debunked. Homosexuality is not a choice. It happens that in this world humans fall into gray area regarding their sexuality.
Now, Kenya is a secular government and to introduce religious arguments for any state decisions is wrong. I strongly believe that , in Kenya,LGBT have the legal right to form any association. The church does not accept secular arguments about their teaching.
The most interesting is that religions inculcate punishments, it is called indoctrination, to believers not in line with their teaching. Consequently, from indoctrination and without scientific facts their believers conform to the idea that homosexuality is wrong. Additionally, many psychologist have stated that homophobia is due to a denial of same sex attraction or an irrational hatred for something they do not understand.
On a lighter note Kenya has the paradox of having the most Google search on gay porn In the planet.
I think that is the wrong question....and the answer to that question is NO....not this year or next. The law should protect gays. Kenyans should not attack and kill gay Kenyans while claiming religious beliefs and their culture n traditions........Alot of Kenyans follow specific religious scripts while ignore others, they also follow some traditions and culture while ignoring others....... Gays are here to stay and they have rights.