News: Kenya’s High Court Upholds Archaic Anti-LGBT Laws

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Kenya’s High Court has decided to dismiss the petition filed in 2016 by three Kenyan LGBT organizations to abolish sections 162 and 165 of the Kenyan Penal Code that bans same-sex relationships. The unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel came down today—May 24, 2019—the same day that Taiwan held its first official gay marriages. 

One of the reasons cited by the judges for retaining their country’s anti-LGBT laws is the lack of evidence that discrimination against the LGBT community exists. Justice Mativo reportedly said, “Petitioners failed to provide credible evidence to demonstrate that they had been discriminated against.” Adding, “Evidence submitted showing that LGBT people have been denied healthcare services on the basis of their sexuality were general statements that did not meet the burden of proof.”

According to Kenya’s law, two or more people (whether straight or gay couple) engaging in sexual activities such as anal sex, oral sex, rimming, handjobs, and many others that “do not involve the penis penetrating the vagina” have committed a crime. They refer to anal intercourse as “carnal knowledge against the order of nature” and it carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison. Gross indecency, on the other hand, is defined as any sexual activity between two men committed in public or private that does not involve penetration and is punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison. 

A 2013 Pew Research Center survey revealed that 90% of Kenyans believe “homosexuality should not be accepted by society.” The decision, therefore, did not come as a surprise to the LGBT activists who vowed to appeal the ruling. Read the entire story here and take a look at some of the netizen’s reaction on Twitter regarding the High Court’s decision below:

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  1. Hunter0500

    “Kenya High Court Upholds Archaic LGTBQ Laws”

    Ever so content to “Keep the Hate Alive!” This is the news chosen to report. Shine on the spotlight on hate. Kenya’s government won’t care. They’ll just dig in their heels. And Kenyans will suffer.

    This week, Brazil made Homophobia a crime. THAT’S NEWS! That’s the kind of change that makes a difference. That’s what needs to be reported. Brazil will be rewarded with tourism and economic developement as businesses flock there because such a positive change aligns with their business philosophies. (Cue George Clooney.)

  2. Nathan

    Nathan writes:

    Begrudgingly, of course, we Americans will admit that we are not the whole world.

    Therefore, what others do, do not always meet with our approbation. Kenya is part of Africa and Africa is not part of the Americas.

    They do not have to meet with our approbation; they can, and do, what they will. And, quite frankly, the comments made by one of the three justices, was well-spoken, realistic and just…even if, potentially, insidious?

    Perhaps, we Gay, may finally come to realize, 99% of the planet is Heterosexual.

    • Hunter0500

      Great point Nathan. 3/4 (or so) of Kenyans (according to what I read) just aren’t yet thinking that same sex coupling is a great idea. And that’s their right. Just like it was in the US, Canada, and Brazil in the 1960s and 1970s and 1980s. No amount of militant bullying them will make a change anytime soon.

      What those who think same sex coupling is great can do is continue to positively show why such a notion is good. After all, Canada, the US and Brazil ultimately decided it OK. Christian denominations broadly have decided so as well.

      • Nathan


        Nice to hear from you! I appreciated your thoughts on my post. I am realistic not idealistic.

        Happy Memorial Day to you.


  3. Randy

    Wow!! That’s Obama’s Homeland. You’d think he would have fixed that by now. But then if Democrats fixed problems they would no longer have the issue to run on. Bummer!!

  4. RL

    Did you notice how the acts carry the same penalty, regardless of orientation? That is unusual. I’m not speaking of the “gross indecency” law, which is interesting because, if two straight guys shared a hooker, which used to be fairly common among younger guys with less money, they could get sentenced. Laws like this are always troublesome.
    At one time, a policeman in Tennessee could have arrested people using public restrooms, because their law made it a crime for two men to have their genitals exposed in the same room.
    For the people who say sex is just for procreation, post-menopausal wives must be living in sin, and a vasectomy is a premeditated crime. Why would anyone want to marry the person he loved? Just marry the first woman he can find, since it’s about making babies and nothing else. Why do humans have the ability for desire every day, and not just a few days of estrous every year?
    Face it, laws are based on the comfort of the majority, not on the reality of human contact. And in case the judge missed out, if a law references one group for additional penalty, that actually is discrimination.
    Sorry I rambled, but so many points come up when this topic rises.

  5. anonimatovato

    Horrible that these things still happens in 2019! And don’t even go to Yahoo, so many homophobic commentators as you would expect.

    • Hunter0500

      You raise a good point. 2019. Is 2019 the same in Kenya as it is for ever so accepting Canada? or the US? or Brazil? After all, do most Kenyans have everyday access to the Internet? Were there Pride parades in Kenya in the 1970s? or 1980s? Can we really expect, rightfully, that Kenyans would have grown in understanding as people in more industrialized nations have?


      2019 for Kenya when it comes to LGTBQ issues is many years before what anyone in the US or Canada or any other more than a “3rd World Nation” would understand and believe.

      So while horrible it is that these things may still happen, it’s the matter of how long social development takes that’s in control. Kenyan’s are no more horrible than their “ever so Progressive” counterparts were a a mere couple/few decades ago.

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