Kenya’s LGBT Community Gains The Right To Organize, But Religious Opposition Looms


(Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity)

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In a move that has stirred the anger of Kenya’s anti-gay Christian groups and sparked celebration by pro-gay clergy, the nation’s High Court has ruled that gay rights activists have the right to formally register their own groups and welfare organizations.

A three-judge panel issued the ruling Friday (April 24) in response to a 2013 petition by the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. The organization had unsuccessfully tried — five times — to register under the nation’s Non-Governmental Organizations Co-ordination Act since 2012 but had been rejected on grounds that Kenya’s penal code criminalized gay and lesbian associations.

This time, things were different, with the court ruling that refusing to register the organization was an infringement of the constitutional rights of association for LGBT people. The judges said registration was not about the moral and religious views of Kenyans, since the constitution does not set a limit of rights.

“Every person has the right to freedom of association, which includes the right to form, join or participate in the activities of an association of any kind,” the judges ruled, quoting Article 36 of Kenya’s constitution.

By Fredrick Nzwili
Read the full article from the HuffPost Queer Voices website