Queerphobia in Kenya: a supreme court ruling on gay rights triggers a new wave of anger against the LGBTIQ+ community

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05/02/2023

The Kenyan supreme court recently struck down a government decision to ban the registration of an LGBTIQ+ community rights organisation, sparking new homophobic rhetoric in the country. Kenya is one of 32 African countries that criminalises homosexuality. Those who identify as part of the LGBTIQ+ community are often discriminated against, harassed and assaulted. Lise Woensdregt and Naomi van Stapele, who have researched queer experiences in Kenya for nine years, explain the impact of this ruling. What is the significance of the recent Kenyan supreme court ruling on a gay rights organisation? The Kenyan supreme court ruled on 24 February 2023 that the government was wrong to ban the LGBTIQ+ community from registering the National Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission. The commission provides legal aid, and works to change the law and policy around LGBTIQ+ persons in Kenya. The commission celebrated this court ruling as a small but significant affirmation of its place in Kenyan society.

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