A group of activists and human rights lawyers in Kenya are challenging a dated criminal code in a case in which the outcome could have a huge impact across the whole of Africa. Gatura Gatura was watching Black-ish late one night when her neighbor came over to her apartment and asked to borrow a lighter. As she turned to find one, he asked if her girlfriend was home. Gatura, who was getting ready to begin her second year of law school, told him no; though they lived together, her girlfriend was a DJ and had a gig that night. The next thing she knew, he had pinned her to the ground and started beating her. Her back was hurt from where she’d been thrown against the floor, her face was swollen from the blows, she had scratch marks on her chest, and she was left with a permanent scar on her lip from where he forcefully tried to kiss her. If Gatura hadn’t screamed, she doesn’t know what would have happened next.
The constitution and law prohibit discrimination based on race, gender, disability, language, or social status. Government authorities did not effectively enforce many of these provisions, and discrimination against women; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons; individuals with HIV/AIDS; persons with disabilities; persons suspected of witchcraft; and certain... Expand
The constitution and law prohibit discrimination based on race, gender, disability, language, or social status. Government authorities did not effectively enforce many of these provisions, and discrimination against women; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons; individuals with HIV/AIDS; persons with disabilities; persons suspected of witchcraft; and certain ethnic groups was a problem. There was also evidence that some national and local government officials tolerated, and in some instances instigated, ethnic violence. The law criminalizes homosexual activity.
The constitution does not explicitly protect LGBT persons from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The penal code criminalizes “carnal knowledge against the order of nature,” which is interpreted to prohibit consensual same-sex sexual activity and specifies a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment. A separate statute specifically criminalizes sex between men and specifies a maximum penalty of 21 years’ imprisonment. Police detained persons under these laws, particularly suspected sex workers, but released them shortly afterward. Statistics presented in the National Assembly in March indicated police had opened files on 595 “unnatural offenses” cases since 2010, including 49 in 2014. According to a 2014 report issued by the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya and the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, between 2012 and 2014 there were eight prosecutions of gay men on indecency charges.
LGBT organizations reported police more frequently used public order laws (e.g., disturbing the peace) than same-sex legislation to arrest LGBT individuals. Police frequently harassed, intimidated, or physically abused LGBT individuals in custody.
Authorities permitted LGBT advocacy organizations to register and conduct activities. There were reports, however, that some organizations registered under modified platforms to avoid being denied registration by the government.
Legal efforts by Mbugua, born Andrew Mbugua, to change her legal name and gender identity continued.
Violence and discrimination against LGBT individuals was widespread. According to a report by journalist Denis Nzioka during the year, LGBT individuals were especially vulnerable to blackmail and rape by police officers and individuals who used LBGT websites to locate victims. LGBT individuals were especially vulnerable to harassment, intimidation, and discrimination in employment, occupation, education, and housing. Human rights and LGBT rights organizations noted that victims were extremely reluctant to report abuse or seek redress. According to a 2011 study, The Outlawed Amongst Us, by the Kenya Human Rights Commission, 89 percent of LGBT individuals who revealed their sexual orientation were disowned by family and friends. There were reports of forced “medical examination” of LGBT individuals by the police and of forced medical treatment or exorcism to “treat” LGBT individuals.
During the year an “antigay” caucus was formed in parliament, although its only action was to inquire why the government had not taken stronger action against LGBT individuals and organizations. The National Assembly majority leader stated that homosexuality was as serious an issue as terrorism but resisted calls for new anti-LGBT legislation. Several NGOs conducted anti-LGBT political campaigns, including one that announced a drive to collect one million signatures on a petition against homosexuality. While these campaigns resulted in scattered demonstrations, they did not attract widespread support.
Source: U.S. Department of State's  Human Rights Report
A group of activists and human rights lawyers in Kenya are challenging a dated criminal code in a case in which the outcome could have a huge impact across the whole of Africa. Gatura Gatura was watching Black-ish late one night when her neighbor came over to her apartment and asked to borrow a lighter. As she turned to find one, he asked if her girlfriend was home. Gatura, who was getting ready to begin her second year of law school, told him no; though they lived together, her girlfriend was a DJ and had a gig that night.
The high court of Kenya is currently dealing with a case regarding the legalization of homosexuality in the country. The case was presented to the high court in 2016 by a group of Kenyan pro-LGBT rights organisations. Kenya is among the 38 African nations that criminalise homosexuality in our continent. East African nations are specifically known for being totally against homosexuality. According to a survey carried by Pew Global Attitudes Project, 97% of Kenyans think that homosexuality should be condemned. The East African country’s penal code punishes consenting homosexual adults to 14 years in prison.
Biko Beauttah, organizer of the Trans Workforce in Toronto, is celebrating her 12-year anniversary of arriving in Canada. Beauttah moved to Toronto in 2006, seeking asylum as a refugee from Kenya, according to CBC News. Since then, she's made a name for herself as a human rights activist. Beauttah took to Twitter Monday morning to write, "Today marks my 12th anniversary since I arrived in Canada seeking asylum as a refugee. Best [advice] I can give, 'Never ever EVER give up.'"
After Britain outlawed homosexuality in its penal code in 1897, the issue has caused problems for post-colonial nations like Kenya. Although it is legal to have same-sex relations in the UK, as well as to have a same-sex marriage and adopt as a same-sex family, its anti-gay heritage has affected post-colonial countries like Kenya, where being gay can land you up to fourteen years in prison. But as a landmark case comes to court after a two-year battle, the Kenyan High Court is debating whether or not to legalise same-sex relations. The case, which was first filed in 2016, aims to challenge the discriminatory sections Kenyan Penal Code that criminalize same-sex relations between adults.
Kenya’s High Court today started hearing arguments towards a case that challenges parts of its controversial ban on homosexuality. The law, which came into effect in 1897, is seen as targeting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans communities. Dating back to British Empire colonial times, gay sex is banned in the East African country. Many countries across Africa have laws against homosexuality, with people facing punishment alongside severe harassment and physical threats. The National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC) argues that sections of the law are in breach of Kenya’s constitution.
They have become extremely predictable, taking one step at a time, but each step ever so sure. The new moralists are so determined to redefine our values and to blunt our conscience that they will not relent. Back in 2015, the Gays and Lesbians confronted a three-judge bench at the High Court with a case contesting the refusal by the NGO Board to register their organisation. The learned judges ruled that the LGBT have a right of association under the constitution – thereby extending a major concession to the group. I argued then in this space that the seemingly small concession was akin to the nose of the camel gaining entry into the Arab’s tent.
Kenyan Official Says Male Lions Who Had Sex 'Must Have Seen Gay Men Behaving Badly' and Should be Separated
Two lions spotted in a gay sexual encounter must have seen a homosexual couple "behaving badly" in their park and should be separated and givencounselling, an official in Kenya said. The animals were photographed after one mounted the other in a secluded bush area of the Masai Mara game reserve in the south-west of the African country. Ezekial Mutua, the chief executive of the Kenya Film Classification Board, said the pair must have been influenced after they viewed a human same sex couple. He claimed that was the only explanation for their “bizarre” behaviour, on the basis that lions don't watch TV or movies to see such acts there.
Tall and model-thin, Katlego Kolanyane-Kesupile turns heads. She receives constant compliments but in her native Botswana, she is also met with contempt and abuse. It's simply for being who she is: an openly transgender woman. Katlego has an ally in Adong Judith. She's a straight woman in Uganda who has made it her mission to stop the type of discrimination lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ) people face in African nations, where homophobia runs rampant.
A 28-year-old Kenyan woman is facing deportation after failing a test to prove she is a lesbian. Lucy Murugi, who came to Sweden two years ago, claims that she fears going back to Kenya because her life is in danger. Lucy told Swedish journalists that her family had turned their back on her as soon as they found out her sexual orientation and only got help from her cousin who helped her get a visa and accommodated her in Marsta, Stockholm.
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