Resolution 32/2 adopted by the Human Rights Council on 30th June 2016 was a huge victory for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. It called on the protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It stressed the need to maintain joint ownership of the international human rights agenda and to consider human rights issues in an objective and non-confrontational manner. It also undertook to support a broad and balanced agenda, and to strengthen the mechanisms addressing issues of importance including fighting racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in all their forms. It reiterated the importance of respective regional, cultural and religious value systems as well as particularities in considering human rights issues.

This resolution deplored the use of external pressure and coercive measures against States particularly developing countries, including through the use and threat of use of economic sanctions and the application of conditionality to official development assistance, with the aim of influencing the relevant domestic debates and decision-making processes at the national level. It underlined that it should be implemented while ensuring respect for the sovereign right of each country as well as its national laws, development priorities, the various religious and ethical values and cultural backgrounds of its people, and should also be in full conformity with universally recognized international human rights.

This resolution then made history by, for the first time ever, creating the mandate of an Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The resolution was however heavily contested with Saudi Arabia requesting a no-action motion saying that motion was a last attempt to make co-sponsors understand the consequences of this deeply divisive proposal that failed to recognize cultural differences.  They said that the draft was contrary to international human rights law and would disregard the universality of human rights. Nigeria supported the no-action motion saying that the draft was divisive and was concerned that the lack of definitions of sexual orientation and gender identity and the attached human rights and fundamental freedoms carried certain responsibility for States. They said that the controversial views of those issues could not be imposed by some Member States and that the adoption of the resolution would ensure that the attention on sexual orientation and gender identity issues as seen by the Western States would take root in the United Nations, without taking into account the views of a large number of States.

A myriad of amendments that would have weakened the resolution were tabled most of which were rejected by The Council and those that were accepted, actually increased the scope of the resolution. This resolution not only faced opposition from within the Human Rights Council, but also from a section of civil society who were concerned, understandably so, that the creation of a mandate on sexual orientation and gender identity would undermine the intersectionalities of struggle that exist within our society. This matter was heavily debated and I do not believe that there will ever be a consensus on it, as with most civil rights issues. The resolution passed with 23 states voting in favor, 18 (including Kenya) voting against and 6 abstentions (most notable of the abstentions being South Africa, a State that was previously seen as a beacon of hope for LGBT people what with it having constitutional protection everyone regardless of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity).

The reason why I give such a detailed background on Resolution 32/2 is because this historic resolution is under threat. I realize “threat” may be a rather strong word but that is essentially what the African Group is doing. The African Group has proposed a resolution that seeks to “…defer consideration of and action on Human Rights Council resolution 32/2…on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in order to allow time for further consultations to determine the legal basis upon which the mandate of the special procedure established therein will be defined.”

Speaking on behalf of the African Group, the Permanent Representative to the United Nations for Botswana expressed deep concern over attempts to introduce and impose new notions and concepts that were not internationally agreed upon, particularly in areas where there was no legal foundation in any international human rights instruments. The African Group was even more disturbed at attempts to focus on certain persons on the grounds of their sexual interests and behaviors, while ignoring that other types of intolerance and discrimination regrettably still existed. While deploring all forms of stereotyping, exclusion, stigmatization, prejudice, intolerance, discrimination, hate speech and violence, the African Group stated that adoption of resolution 32/2 would be at the detriment of issues of paramount importance, such as the right to development. The African Group also believes that notions of sexual orientation and gender identity should not be linked to existing international human rights instruments. They then called for the suspension of the appointed Independent Expert’s activities, pending the determination of clarity on the issue.

While a call for deferment of consideration of and action on the resolution may not technically be a no-action motion, it effectively does exactly what a no-action motion would do. The resolution by the African Group as drafted does not give a time period for the deferment and what it does is indefinitely defer any action on resolution 32/2. One of the mandates of the Independent Expert is to address the multiple, intersecting and aggravated forms of violence and discrimination faced by persons on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity. Look at the hundreds of LGBT people who have died in violent attacks all over the world including in Cameroon, Kenya and South Africa. Some of these violent attacks go unreported because of the stigma that comes with being LGBT.

Sexual orientation and gender identity are not new notions. They may be recent terms but people have had different sexual orientations and gender identities the world over, including in Africa since time immemorial. We have contributed to the society’s development, we are your brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, we are your friends and neighbors and we cannot change who we are. Yet we constantly face violence and threats of violence due to the fact that we are of a sexual orientation or gender identity that is different. The intolerance and discrimination that we face is just as real as any other intolerance and discrimination that exists in our society. We face those too. Resolution 32/2 as I mentioned earlier supports the strengthening of mechanisms that address these intolerance and discrimination.

Notions of sexual orientation and gender identity are linked to International Human Rights Instruments. There is a legal foundation for the mandate of Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. As Arvind Narrain says in his blog post about South Africa, The principle of universality of rights and the principle of non-discrimination on any status are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the ICCPR. Further the Human Rights Council under OP2 of GA resolution 60/251 has the responsibility for “promoting universal respect for the protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of any kind and in a fair and equal manner.” We should not face violence or discrimination not because we are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, but because we are human beings, and any measure taken to address this violence and discrimination should not be opposed but supported in every way.

This is therefore a plea to the Africa Group. While you propose to defer action on resolution 32/2, hundreds of LGBT Africans are facing violence, discrimination and even death on the grounds of their sexual orientation and gender identity. While you call for the suspension of the appointed Independent Expert’s activities, hundreds of citizens in your countries are being beaten in the streets, face mental anguish due to stigma and are even facing corrective rape. Resolution 32/2 respects the sovereign right of each country as well as its national laws, development priorities, the various religious and ethical values and cultural backgrounds of its people. It is rooted, in its entirety, under International Human Rights Instruments. Your proposed resolution not only ignores the lived reality of LGBT citizens of your countries but also undermines the mandate of the Human Rights Council. Please don’t let your citizens down.

Advertisements

Tanzania-Flag

I write to you as a fellow proud African. A citizen of your neighbour country, Kenya. A person who has visited and loves the beauty that your country has to offer; the mountains, the lakes, the parks and most of all, the people. The unmistakably Tanzanian politeness makes me cringe every time I come back to Nairobi and see how we Kenyans relate to each other. And before any Kenyan reading this gets on the defensive, I should tell you, I am as Kenyan as we come. I am a gay man. At this point, you may want to stop reading this and dismiss it as western propaganda but I urge you to read on. It will only take a few minutes of your time and I assure you, this is far from any western propaganda.

The reason I write to you is because I have watched in awe how your government and a section of the Tanzanian population has been treating people of different sexual orientation and gender identity. From calling for their arrest to stopping the supply of lubricant to having sections of the society call for murder. This is a sad and scary trend and is no way for a society to treat a section of itself.

I’ll start by saying that the Tanzanian population (and in the same way, the Kenyan and Ugandan populations) has within it, people who are black, white, left handed, right handed, living with disabilities, living with albinism, gay, lesbian, transgender, intersex among many other identities. These people have existed in our society since time immemorial (except perhaps the white people who have also been a part of the human race). Homosexuality was not introduced by the west. Anthropological studies (which you may very well dismiss as western propaganda) have shown the existence of people of different sexual orientations and gender identities even before colonization. There are so many resources with this information and please feel free to contact me for links to them.

Having said that, you twitted yesterday, “I am a social justice activist. I am a professional. I know those stuffs. Same sex inclinations are not natural!” Allow me to tell you my story. A story that is the same for many, if not all, gay and lesbian people. At no point in my life did I make the choice to be attracted to people of the same sex as I am. As I grew up and began understanding myself and learnt about what sex is and what the feelings I had were, I realized that unlike the rest of the boys I grew up with, I was not attracted to girls. I am sure that the scenario is the same for people who are attracted to those of the opposite sex. You don’t decide to choose your attraction, you just have it. In my case, I tried to be different. I tried to fit in to what society wants me to be. It did not work. I prayed on it. I contemplated hurting myself. I finally got to the point of accepting that this is who I am. That was the only choice I made, not to be gay but to accept myself for who I am.

I was brought up in a Christian family. Most people in Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya were brought up in families of a certain religion. Most religions in one way or another condemn homosexuality. If my sexual orientation was determined by how I was nurtured, I would not have turned out to be what I am. My parents brought me up in a society that vilified me for the feelings I have towards other men. Feelings I cannot control. To this day, my mother does not like that I have these feelings. But there is nothing I can do about them. There is nothing any gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender person can do about the person they are. We are all as we are.

If you ever sat down with members of the community and listened, and I mean really listened to their stories, you will realize that my story resonates with them. Unfortunately, some of us never got to the point of self-acceptance. Some of us hated themselves so much that they decided that it would be better if they didn’t exist in this world any more. A world that hates them for who they love. A world that discriminates against them in access to opportunities because of the gender they identify with. A world that has government officials declaring them worse than terrorists and calling for their arrest and murder due to something they have no control over. These people took their own lives. Lives that might have amounted to so much had society allowed them a chance to prove themselves worthy.

Banning of the supply of lubricants will not curb homosexuality in any way. What that does, and as a medical doctor I am sure you understand is increase the number of risky sexual practices. Use of condoms without lubricant or using condoms with oil based lubricant will increase the risk of the condom breaking and increase the risk of transmission of HIV and other STIs. Now you may say that banning distribution of lubricant will stop people from having sex but that would be burying your head in the sand. People will still have sex and unfortunately the sex will be risky sex. Let me quote some statistics. As of 2015, There were 1.4 million people living with HIV with the number of new infections being 54,000. That accounts for 5% of the Tanzanian population. HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men was 22.2% and heterosexual sex accounted for the vast majority (80%) of all HIV infections in your country with women being particularly affected. Now due to the crackdown on the LGBTI community, men who have sex with men will try, like I did, to fit in to the society. They will get into sexual relationships and marry women but that will not stop them from having sex with other men. With the risk brought on by the banning of lubricants, HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men is going to increase from the 22.2% and the attempt by this population to adhere to society’s norm will increase the risk of transmission to women and other heterosexual men and the vicious cycle continues.

In your tweets yesterday you kept repeating that Tanzania has not signed the “Kyogo Protocol”. I have searched all over and haven’t encountered a Kyogo Protocol. I did find a Kyoto Protocol which has nothing to do with homosexuality but all to do with climate change. What I have found however is the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Tanzania is a state party to this Covenant. It says that all persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law. Having said that, the protection of the rights of every citizen of Tanzania, Uganda or Kenya should not be hinged on the ratification of any international instrument. It should come from us as human beings. We will never all be the same. We do not all subscribe to the same religion, we are not all of the same skin colour, we are not all of the same sexual orientation or gender identity. The one thing that binds us all together is the fact that we are all human beings. Our differences are what makes our society beautiful. We should all strive to understand our differences and accept them as a part of what our society is. That way, in the spirit of Ubuntu, we shall all live in harmony.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me at oluoch@gmail.com should you wish to engage in further conversations. I am sure there are many other Tanzanian individuals who would wish to tell you their story. Allow them to. Understand where they come from and the struggles they have to go through on a daily basis because of something they have absolutely no control over and think about what you as a leader, as a deputy minister for health and as a human being can do to improve the lives of not only the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in your country but the general population.

Sincerely,

Anthony Oluoch

I’m not one for political commentary. It’s the second time now that I say that. I think that means that I can call myself a novice political commentator…but I digress. Kenyan politics has for a long time been a thorn in my backside, a painful one at that. I listen to some of our politicians speak and cringe at some of their utterances. I watch bewildered as news article after news article is released telling us how we have lost hundreds of millions of tax payer money to corruption in the hands of our elected leaders. I watch as someone chosen to make our laws says that a section of the society is worse than dogs.

Ever since I could vote, I have seen political parties formed with incredible manifestos promising Kenyans unity and then get in power and do everything that would divide us. I have seen young men and women go on the campaign trail promising to eradicate corruption only to be elected and become the very perpetrators of this thing they were meant to get rid of.

All this is bound to make one give up. To make one think, “what is the point in all this?” To make one decide that politics will always remain the same. Promises, elections, complacency. But what does that then do? It keeps the status quo. It makes the situations for Kenyans even worse. It changes nothing!

logo

Well, there is a new Political Party in town. One whose vision is a country that faithfully affirms and religiously implements the constitutional values and principles of governance in the Constitution. One that seeks to provide and promote equitable economic development and good governance at all levels. One whose guiding principles include respect for human rights and freedoms.

Now, it is entirely possible that I may be caught in the promise loop mentioned earlier, but I am simply done with the old. Most people say, “better the devil you know.” I say that  that devil has hurt me and mine a few too many times. I am going to be a part of creating the change I need to see in my country.

Every Kenyan above 18 with an urge to make a difference in their country, join the Equity and Equality Party.

CLICK HERE to read the party’s Constitution

CLICK HERE to fill in the membership form

feminism_small-00319-year-old Ouma is brutally raped by police officers who are charged with the task of serving and protecting Kenyans. Nairobi County Governor Evans Kidero slaps Women Representative Rachael Shebesh to the glee of quite a number of Kenyans. As at 6 years ago, 16% of women in Kenya still lacked basic literacy skills compared to 9% of men. 95% (1,370 of 1,450) of ward members of county assemblies in Kenya are men. Honorable Malulu Injendi on 21st April 2016 said that the fact that Honorable Janet Nangabo’s (Trans Nzoia MP) hair may have cost KES 10,000 to do means that the women have money as a reason to reject changes to the law setting up a special fund to give all women candidates in the country campaign money in the next election. Women in Kenya are constantly being harassed, discriminated against, disempowered and whenever some of them do get to a point where they are at a position of power, we, the men, refer to them as entitled bitches. I realize that these may seem like incredibly generalized statements, but if we actually took some time to analyse the status quo, we will realize that said statements are actually true.

I therefore write this from a position most men do not want to admit. That of privilege. A privilege stemming from the fact that I was born with a penis and not a vagina. A privilege that affords me opportunities that our womenfolk are not afforded as evidenced from some of the statistics herein. A privilege that assumes that I am the stronger sex. I write this knowing that my masculinity and the society’s perception of it has been used to perpetuate some of the most heinous crimes towards women. The violence and abuse, the lack of equality in pay, the expectation of sexual favors in exchange for promotions at work among other things.

I am a feminist. My particular brand of feminism is one that envisions equality for all women tempered with respect for them. It envisions a world in which our mothers, sisters, grandmothers, aunties are not viewed as weak. A world in which they will not be denied the opportunities we men have just because they are women. A world in which class is shattered and the voice of the mama mboga in Dandora is heard in the same space as that of the business executive in Lavington. Where we all experience life, not from positions of power but from an understanding that we are all human beings. Where personal moral convictions will not let a woman belittle the struggles of another just because they are queer. Where women are allowed autonomy over their bodies without having the predominantly male controlled state and religion tell them what to do.

Most people say that feminists are anti-men. I say, as a male feminist, I don’t hate men. I love them. As a queer male, I love them even more. I don’t believe that women don’t need men to survive in this society. I believe that as human beings, we need each other. I don’t believe that every man, by virtue of being just that, is an oppressor. I believe that some men have oppressed women. I don’t believe that every woman by virtue of being just that is a victim. I believe that there are some female victims of oppression and I believe that feminism should give these people a voice.

I have said this before and I will say it again. I want to live in a world where no one is treated differently because of something they have no control over. Being born with a vagina or a penis, how one expresses themselves in dress, being of a different sexual orientation or gender identity or belonging to a different social class. A world where we consider the differences in others as something to be celebrated and admired and not vilified and condemned. Where our sisters, mothers, cousins, grandmothers, neighbors and friends can feel safe in the knowledge that the men around them care about their well-being. I am a feminist. No, I do not have a vagina. I will however continue calling out the sexism in our society. I will continue trying all I can to make this world a better place for the women in my life and I will strive to ensure that someday, true equality prevails.

Just how many lives need to be senselessly lost before we as human beings start treating each other better? How many families are we willing to destroy in the name of “morality”? What is “moral” about beating a person to death because of something he has absolutely no control over? Which are these African values that we so earnestly yearn to preserve that justify the level of violence that is faced by gay and lesbian people in this continent? Are we not all African regardless of the differences that we all have? Are we not a part of this incredibly diverse society? What gives you the right to take my life or deprive me of employment or evict me from my dwelling place just because I love differently?

We will now never know what Akinnifesi Olumide Olubunmi would have brought to this world. His life was taken by people who felt that he didn’t deserve to live a full life because he was gay. His life was taken in the cruellest of ways. I keep wondering what must have gone through his mind in his last moments. Was he grateful to have been taken out of a world where fellow human beings hate him and others like himself so? Was he forgiving of his attackers? Did he regret that he chose to live his life authentically? Did he curse his maker for having feelings he couldn’t control that caused him the pain he must have gone through?

I’d like to think that in his last moments, in all the pain he must have been going through, in all the psychological torture he must have been going through, I’d like to think that he forgave his attackers. That he prayed that what happened to him does not happen to any other person. I’d also like to ask those who are saying that he deserved to die to think about his last moments. To think about the fact that this person could have been your brother, your father, your uncle or your best friend. Just think about what would be going through that person’s mind.

We are all human beings. We are all different. It is that difference that makes this world a beautiful place. Let’s embrace it. Let’s not hate others simply for loving differently. No good ever comes of hate and violence. Love always wins.

Rest in Peace Akinnifesi Olumide Olubunmi. You are in a better place.

Last month, ILGA (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association) released the 2014 State Sponsored Homophobia Report. You can read the report here.

This report is a world survey of laws that critically looks at criminalisation, protection and recognition of same-sex love.

In the article, “We Are All African” (Page 78) I note;

But perhaps what could be seen as the most controversial of the responses sought would be aid conditionality. In October 2011, during the Commonwealth Meeting of Heads of State, David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister, threatened to reduce development aid to countries that criminalise homosexuality. Shortly after the statement was made, the United States also announced that they would use all available mechanisms, including measures related to development cooperation, to promote the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons. In February this year, the World Bank postponed a US$90 million loan due to the signing of the Anti-Homosexuality Act. Norway said it would be withholding $8m in development aid to Uganda, and Denmark will divert $9m away from the Ugandan government saying that they couldn’t distance themselves too strongly from the law and the signal that the Ugandan government now sends to not only persecuted minority groups, but to the whole world. Austria said it was reviewing its assistance to Uganda.

What are your thoughts on aid conditionality, particularly when the aid is tied to sexual orientation and gender identity?




On reading “Why Kenya Should Retainand Enforce its Anti-Gay Laws” by Mheshimiwa Irungu Kangata, I didn’t know whether to feel offended or laugh. As much as it was filled with facts about the legal status and the fact that having sex with minors is wrong, it was also filled with a whole load of fallacies that I am going to debunk shortly. It also smelt a lot like a political ploy. What for? We probably will never know, but I have to say this…he learnt from the best. But first, I’m going to be a tad petty (seeing as this whole thing is just that) and say that “gayism”, a word used in his statement very many times and one that the media and many other people use, is not an accepted word. The -ism suffix means “a distinctive doctrine, system, or theory”. Being gay is neither a doctrine nor a system nor a theory. It is neither a lifestyle nor a way of life. It is simply human. 
Yes, carnal knowledge against the order of nature and acts of gross indecency are criminalized under section 162 and section 165 of the Penal Act, Cap 63 Laws of Kenya. I will not delve into the intricacies of what might be construed as “against the order of nature” as that will open a whole can of worms. Mheshimiwa Kangata however does imply that sex between persons of the same sex is against the order of nature. I will allow him that interpretation and say this; a gay man or a lesbian woman is not a criminal just by virtue of being gay or lesbian according to this law. The crime here will be the sexual act and unless this is proven, these people should be left to live in peace.
Which brings me to the Constitutionality of the said sections. This was your third point but I’ll make it my second as it relates to the first. Article 27 of the Constitution of Kenya states that every person is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law. It further goes on to say that equality includes the full and equal enjoyment of all rights and fundamental freedoms. In order to link Article 27 of the Constitution to the sections of the penal code mentioned above, I will have to talk about the individual gay man and the individual lesbian woman. I will have to demystify the gay and lesbian person. I do not purport to speak for every gay man and every lesbian woman because we are all individuals and we are all different. I will however try to stick as much as I can to facts. In order to do that, I will need to debunk some of Mheshimiwa’s assertions.
Mheshimiwa asserts that all human behaviour is gene-based. This includes eating and heterosexual response. I have done a bit of a layman’s research on the subject and have found no evidence of an eating gene. Eating happens to be the body’s natural response to the need for nourishment. I have not found any evidence of a heterosexual gene. Heterosexuality just happens to be the predisposition of a majority of human beings to be sexually and emotionally attracted to persons of the opposite sex. The absence of a gene determining something does not mean that this thing does not occur naturally. It may mean that these thing is caused by a complex combination of genes that science has not advanced to the level of isolating. It follows therefore that homosexuality just might be natural. We will leave this debate to the scientists who are making great strides in trying to understand sexuality.
If you actually took the time to talk to gay and lesbian persons, a majority of them will tell you that they do not remember a time that they did not have feelings for persons of their sex. Because of the lack of a concrete scientific proof of when a person becomes homosexual, one has to go to the individual person. Something that Mheshimiwa has not done in his article. The homosexual person will tell you of the internal struggles they have had to go through due to the fact that they have been brought up in a significantly heterogeneous society and anything other than that is wrong. The struggles they have had to go through to fit in, others even going as far as getting married and attempting conversion therapy. They will tell you of the struggles with their sexual orientation that drives some of them to attempting suicide because they live in a world that does not accept them for who they are and have no control over. A majority of them will tell you that they are against murder, theft, bestiality, paedophilia and other abhorrent practices often compared with homosexuality. As a matter of fact, that comparison is slanderous to innocent people. What this comparison does, especially in relation to child abuse, is to direct attention from the real threats to children and that is a serious moral concern.
In arguing the unconstitutionality of homosexual conduct, Mheshimiwa quotes Article 45 of the Constitution which speaks about family. I’ll say this; gay men and lesbian women are ok with that Article as it is. It does not affect homosexuals in any way. That article is about a heterosexual family. He asserts that the family unit ought to be protected. I agree with him completely. After all, I am a product of a heterosexual relationship which I hope will be protected as such. That protection however does not impose an obligation on every Kenyan to form a heterosexual family unit which is what he infers when he says that the “homosexual lifestyle” diminishes chances of said individual founding a heterosexual family unit. In any society that we live in, there will always exist heterosexual persons (who are a majority) and homosexual persons. The heterosexual family has been protected in the Constitution and we are all happy with that. Heterosexual men and women may continue forming their family units. Homosexuals will attend the weddings and even plan the weddings for them. I also would like to ask, how does the homosexual lifestyle pull some out of heterosexual marriages?
On that note, and because we are still talking about the individual, I’d like to state now that a heterosexual person cannot be recruited into homosexuality. Like I said earlier, homosexuality is not a lifestyle that is chosen. If it is, then any heterosexual man or woman who can figure out the point in their lives in which they chose to be heterosexual should let us know. Because sexual orientation is not chosen and just is, then recruitment into a sexual orientation that one isn’t is an extremely ridiculous notion. 
Just because society needs some people to procreate it doesn’t follow that everyone is obligated to procreate. A university professor was once told by a priest that if everyone were homosexual then society wouldn’t exist. This is an argument that has been used over and over again to belittle people fighting for the rights of gay and lesbian persons. It is an argument that Mheshimiwa has used in interviews and during the recent hate mongering anti-gay protest. The university professor responded to the priest and said, “If everyone were a Roman Catholic priest, there’d be no society either.” I bring this up because, at no point will everyone be homosexual. There will never come a time when everyone is heterosexual. We need to understand that our society is a complex mix of diversity and once we accept this fact, we will live with each other in peace.
I will now explain why I still think that criminalizing consensual same sex conduct is creating a victimless crime. Mheshimiwa lists victimless crimes to include suicide, cruelty to animals, rules relating to uniforms among others. Suicide has a victim. The person committing suicide is the victim. Cruelty to animals has victims. The animals are the victims. When two consenting adults love each other, no one is harmed. Most opponents claim that the society is the victim but I have made it clear hereinabove that the society does not suffer at all from homosexuality. As a matter of fact, within the society, gay men and lesbian women contribute to taxes, they provide services that are needed by people in the society, they are doctors, teachers, lawyers, farmers and they are necessary for the wellbeing of the society.
Having said all that, and knowing that in any society, there is inevitably going to be a minority who are homosexual, the sections in the penal code effectively criminalizes a section of the society. This essentially goes against the Constitution. Article 27 on equality for all is not applied when a section of the Kenyan society is criminalized for something that they have no control over whatsoever.
Mheshimiwa says that that homosexuality did not exist in pre-colonial Africa. He claims that it is the work of liberal writers with an apologist streak trying to rewrite African history. I would like to task Mheshimiwa to explain that statement. Who are these writers and does he have any proof of the non-existence of homosexuality in pre-colonial Africa seeing as he says this with such conviction. I would like however to quote an anthropological study that has shown the existence of homosexuality in Africa before colonization. Stephen O. Murray and Will Roscoe in their book “Boy-Wives and Female Husbands: Studies in African Homosexualities” list a broad array of instances of homosexuality in Africa before colonization; Tutsi boys during their training away from the village to become warriors often have sexual relationships together, some of which last into adulthood. Among the Iteso, people of hermaphroditic instincts are very numerous. The men are impotent and have the instincts of women and become women for all intents and purposes; their voices are feminine and their manner of walking and of speech is feminine. There are a lot more examples of instances of homosexuality in Africa and I would love for Mheshimiwa to read the book whose contributors include anthropologists, sociologists, historians, linguists, colonial doctors, missionaries and journalists.
An interesting quote in the book is one that shows how the blatant homophobia in Africa is actually what was imported from the west and not homosexuality. “What began with denial (the myth created by Europeans) has ended in a near taboo on the subject of African homosexualities – a taboo nonetheless based on European, not African, morality.  The colonialists did not introduce homosexuality to Africa.  Instead, the Europeans introduced intolerance of homosexuality – and systems of surveillance and regulation for suppressing it.  These systems failed as long as the African reaction was to hide or deny such practices.  Only when native people began to forget that same-sex patterns were ever a part of their culture did homosexuality become truly stigmatized.”
Mheshimiwa states that we are founded on Bentham’s utilitarian philosophy of “greatest happiness for the greatest number”. This is a dangerous statement coming from a person who has been elected by his people to represent them. His constituency contains people who are a minority. It contains persons living with disability. It contains albino people. It contains persons of different tribes. There is massive diversity in his constituency. Does he mean to say that the minority in said constituency are not considered? We need to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority.