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GAYS

Blow for gay rights activists as court rejects petition to legalise homosexuality

The High Court in Nairobi has quashed a petition by gay rights activists who were seeking decriminalization of homosexuality.

Presiding judges Roselyne Aburili, Chacha Mwita and John Mativo said Section 162 (a) and (c) of Kenya’s Penal Code says clearly that homosexuality is illegal in Kenya.

The law, under that section, states: “Any person who — (a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature; or (c) permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.”

The National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission had moved to court arguing that under Kenya’s 2010 Constitution, every person is said to be equal before the law.

The judges used the Penal Code to quash their plea.

“We, [therefore], decline to issue the orders as sought by the petitioners. The phrase [in Section 162 (a) and (c) of Kenya’s Penal Code] is clear,” said the judges.

The court also rebuffed the petitioners’ argument that if homosexuality wouldn’t be decriminalised, then the LGBTQ community would continue being stigmatised.

“There is no basis upon which the court can say they [LGBTQ community] will be discriminated. We, [therefore], dismiss the case that they will be discriminated,” said the court, adding: “Stigma is not exclusive to the LGBTQ community. Everyone has the right to access health.”

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