Kenya Must Protect and Uphold the Constitutional Rights of ALL its Citizens Including Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Gender Non-Binary Persons
The Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya, The Nyanza, Rift Valley and Western LGBTQ Network, The National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission and LGBTQ+ partners, friends and allies, with great distress acknowledge the judgement by the High Court of Kenya on the consolidated petitions 150 and 234 of 2016 challenging the constitutionality of sections 162 a) and c) and 165 of the Penal Code of Kenya.
On 24th May 2019, the High Court in Milimani, Nairobi declared the existence of these sections of the law valid and in no way a violation of the rights guaranteed to all Kenyans in the Constitution of Kenya 2010. This ruling in effect, justifies the stigma, discrimination and violence meted against Kenyans who identify or are perceived to be Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Gender Non-Binary or Queer (LGBTQ).
This judgement is a direct contravention of The Bill of Rights in Chapter 4 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010, which recognises and affirms every Kenyan’s inherent right to life, right to privacy, right to human dignity, right to equality and freedom from all forms of discrimination including sex and sexual orientation, right to freedom and security of the person, freedom of expression, freedom of association, access to justice among others.
The case made NO reference to legalizing gay marriage in Kenya as Article 45 (2) of the Constitution 2010 recognises marriage between man and woman. The case also made NO reference to promoting a culture of rape, sexual violence, sexual conduct in public or sexual conduct with minors as these acts are provided for under the Sexual Offenses Act 2006.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Gender Non-Binary or Queer (LGBTQ+) persons, like any other Kenyan, have the right to live free from violence and discrimination. We urge the Government to take immediate and deliberate steps to protect and uphold the rights of ALL LGBTQ+ persons by repealing sections 162 (a) and (c) and 165 of the Penal Code of Kenya and introducing legislation that prohibits discrimination on ALL grounds including sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.