Kenya’s President Williams Ruto has reacted to the Supreme Court ruling approving the registration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) rights groups.
Kenya’s Supreme Court last week Friday February 24, said that the decision to deny LGBTQ members their right to register Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), despite homosexuality being illegal in the nation, was discriminatory.
This came after a ruling made in 2013 lower courts to deny members of the community in Kenya to register an NGO for the advancement of their rights.
Speaking at the Kenyatta International Convention Center (KICC), Nairobi, during the re-launch of the Women Enterprise Fund on Thursday, March 2 President Ruto said he respects the apex court’s decision but insisted that Kenya’s values and religion do not allow same-sex relationships.
“You know me very well, I am a God-fearing man and whatever happened at the court, even if we respect the court, our culture, values, Christianity and Islam cannot allow women to marry each other, or men to marry fellow men,” he said.
In the Kenyan constitution, same-sex sexual activity is prohibited under the Penal Code 1930. It criminalises acts of ‘gross indecency’ and ‘carnal knowledge against the order of nature.’
Anyone found guilty faces a maximum penalty of fourteen years’ imprisonment.
This is not the first time Ruto is giving his stance on gay rights in the country. Shortly after he was declared president-elect in August last year, Ruto gave an interview to CNN, in which he was quizzed on the issue.
Ruto, who had earlier said that there will be no room for homosexuality in Kenya, reiterated his stance saying, “We have Kenyan law, we have Kenyan constitution, we have our tradition, customs; we will continue to respect other people’s customs as they respect our customs and traditions.”
He told CNN that Kenya respects everybody and what they believe in, and that “We also have what we believe in and we expect to be respected for that too.”