By ACI Africa Staff
Nairobi, 27 February, 2023 (ACI Africa). Published with permission.
Christian Professionals in Kenya are “deeply” disturbed by the country’s Supreme Court ruling allowing the registration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer persons (LGBTQ) Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).
On February 24, the Supreme Court of Kenya ruled that people with homosexual orientation have a right to form and register associations in the East African nation, three judges in the five-judge bench arguing that “despite gayism being illegal (in Kenya), they have a right of association.”
In Kenya, the Penal Code 1930 criminalizes same-sex activity described as “gross indecency” and “carnal knowledge against the order of nature”, and further stipulates a 14-year jail term for anyone found guilty of engaging in homosexuality.
In the ruling in which Justice Mohamed Ibrahim and William Ouko put in writing dissenting opinions against the majority decision delivered by Justices Philomena Mwilu, Smokin Wanjala, and Njoki Ndung’u, LGBTQ entities can operate at will after they are registered in Kenya.
In a February 25 statement shared with ACI Africa, members of the Kenya Christian Professionals Forum (KCPF) say that while Kenya’s Supreme Court has not overturned laws criminalizing homosexual acts between consenting adults, “it has signaled that gays and lesbians can now engage untrammeled by legal restrictions to unravel our various guardrails against the promotion of homosexuality.”
“KCPF is deeply concerned by the recent Supreme Court Judgment. The judgment opens the way to the gradual dismantling of our legal, moral, and cultural prohibitions against homosexual behavior, which is so destructive of the individual, families, communities, and the nation,” they say.
The Christian professionals say Kenya’s education sector, religions, media, and film industry are already being targeted by homosexual ideologies.
“Our education sector and our children and youth are already battling the insidious glamorization and normalization of LGBTQ lifestyles. Our laws are being continuously undermined by targeted disobedience through tactical flaunting of LGBTQ lifestyles. Our churches and religions are under consistent pressure from both within and without to cave into LGBTQ ideology,” they say.
The February 24 Supreme Court ruling follows a ten-year legal battle that started when Eric Gitari, the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC), challenged the head of Kenya’s NGO board for his refusal to permit the registration of an association under a name containing the words gay or lesbian.
In their statement signed by KCPF Chairman and Secretary, Charles Kanjama and Vincent Kimosop, respectively, Christian professionals in Kenya say they are disappointed that when making the judgment, the three judges “disregarded the moral and cultural values of Kenyans generally, which are carefully constructed to protect the natural family through laws that prohibit all aspects of homosexual conduct and its propagation.”
They add that the three judges “reached an unsupported conclusion that sex in the Constitution means sexual orientation rather than binary sexual identity as male and female.”
KCPF members say that the judges “failed to deal with the reality that most corporate registration laws, in Kenya and elsewhere, allow prohibition of the use of certain names that harm the public policy of promoting respect for existing laws.”
The judges also applied “foreign judgments without discerning their material differences from the Kenyan context, thus disenfranchising the Kenyan people who voted to adopt their Constitution based on their clear understanding that LGBTQ activity was prohibited,” say the Christian professionals.
KCPF members call on their compatriots to “reflect upon the slippery slope we have been thrust upon by the Supreme Court judgment.”
“We have a right and duty as Kenyans to defend our moral values and to have laws that align with our societal consensus on right and wrong. We have a right to safeguard our laws,” they say.
The Christian professionals call on Kenyans “to consider proposing a people-driven constitutional amendment and referendum to finally tackle the few contentious issues that prompted the No campaign in 2010, which gathered about 30% of the referendum vote.”
“When [any law or institution] becomes destructive of the ends [for which it was established], it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it and establish another in its place,” KCPF members say, citing the 1776 US Declaration of Independence.
The Supreme Court ruling has also drawn criticism from different religious leaders and groups in Kenya.
The Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Nyeri has described homosexual acts as evil and warned against LGBTQ associations being used to recruit members.
“The Supreme Court ruling that those persons with these inclinations may associate, basically it means that perhaps it will be a way for them and us to address them, to work with them as human persons … but the acts of homosexuality can never be acceptable, they are evil,” Archbishop Anthony Muheria told local media Monday, February 27.
Therefore, the Local Ordinary of Kenya’s Catholic Archdiocese of Nyeri added, “If this association is to spread and popularize and bring about more and more people into this kind of actions and behavior then we call it out as evil and it must be addressed.”
The Speaker of Kenya’s National Assembly, Moses Wetangula, faulted the Supreme Court ruling for opening up a dangerous path that could see the moral fabric of the East African nation eroded with far-reaching consequences.
“Kenya is deeply religious. Each Individual and/or Public institution, including the judiciary, has a duty to uphold, defend and protect public morals!! The SC pronouncement may lead to unintended and unhelpful consequences,” Hon. Wetangula, a Catholic, said in a Tweet posted Monday, February 27.
Christ Is The Answer Ministries (CITAM) has called on Kenyans “to reject, resist and oppose” the February 24 Supreme Court ruling.
In the message circulated February 27, the Nairobi-based CITAM says, “We encourage Kenyans of moral integrity to reject, resist and oppose this supreme court ruling as it will erode our societal norms and morals.”
The Supreme Court ruling can see pedophiles and others who contravene other social norms seek similar reliefs from the courts, CITAM says, adding that the February 24 ruling sets a bad precedence.
“The Bible speaks seven times about this kind of relationship directly; Ge.19:1-11; Lev 18:22; 20:13; Judge 19:22-25; Roman 1:25-26; 1 Cor.6:9, 1 Tim.1:9-10. In all these passages, homosexuality is not approved but rather is viewed as sinful, unnatural and perverted,” CITAM further says.
Kenya’s Attorney General, Justin Muturi, has vowed to challenge the Supreme Court ruling allowing the registration of LGBTQ NGOs, arguing that the matter is beyond the corridors of justice but one that requires public consultation.
On his part, Homabay Town Member of Parliament is reportedly seeking to sponsor a bill that would impose a life sentence on anyone convicted of engaging in homosexuality and other unnatural sexual acts.
SOURCE ACI Africa. Published with permission.