President William Ruto has weighed in on the Supreme Court ruling allowing the registration of LGBTQI lobby groups, becoming the latest leaders to do so.
Along with Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, he had added to a growing chorus of political voices dismissing the decision issued by the top court on February 24 to dismiss an appeal by the government to bar registration of a gay and lesbian lobby groups, ending an 11-year legal battle by activists seeking the official registration of an LGBTQ+ organisation in Kenya.
Speaking on Thursday during the launch of the second phase of Hustler Fund, Dr Ruto said Kenya has no place for the queer community.
“I’m a man of God. Even though we respect the Supreme Court, our religions and cultures do not allow a woman to marry a fellow woman or a man a fellow man,” he said.
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“We cannot go to the streets to demand that they be allowed to marry. This can happen elsewhere but it will not happen in Kenya,” the President added.
On his part, opposition leader Raila Odinga said the Judiciary interprets but does not make Kenya’s laws.
“Article 45:2 states that every adult has a right to marry a person of the opposite sex based on the free consent of the parties,” he said. “It’s not the role of the judiciary to make laws. The Constitution recognises separation of powers.”
DP Gachagua, who was also speaking at the Hustler Fund event, said he was shocked by the ruling.
The apex court, in a divided judgment, said the refusal by the NGOs Co-ordination Board to register the lobby group would violate human rights based on sexual orientation.
However, the court held that the country’s law – Section 162 of the Penal Code -that prohibits “unnatural offences” (defined as having carnal knowledge with any man, woman or animal against the order of nature) are binding.
Since then, criticism has flowed from churches and political leaders.