We need to place priority where priority is due. My relationship with another man has no effect on you whatsoever. I do not threaten any family. I do not cause you not to eat your Ugali for dinner. I do not cause you any harm. Corruption, insecurity, unemployment; these are the things that affect you. No matter what any politician says about homosexuality. Consider the fact that they are only using homosexuality to divert attention to what they are doing or not doing in their capacity as leader. They are using this highly emotive issue to get attention away from that land they grabbed. Away from that contract they irregularly offered. Away from all the issues that actually affect you and yours.
I do have the audacity to say that gay and lesbian people pay taxes on national TV because, guess what, we do.
I don’t normally respond to hate messages online. The reason I do so now is because I feel the urge to state the obvious. That I am the same person who spent 4 years with you in high school. I haven’t changed one bit. Granted there is a bit of facial hair and a bald spot on my head where they didn’t exist back then but I am still essentially the same person. You didn’t seem to have any problem with me back then. Why is it that you do, now that you know that I am gay and support the rights of gay and lesbian people?
I have known that my sexual orientation did not conform to the “norm” since as far back as I can remember. I knew I was gay when I was in high school. I didn’t say it then because I didn’t know anyone else who was like me. I lived an incredibly lonely life. A lonely life that I didn’t choose. A life that was filled with questions to myself and my maker. Why did I have to be the one person that society shuns. The one person who will bring shame to my family. The one person who will be violated, beaten, spat on, stigmatized and ostracized by society. Why? I went on a journey of self loathing to understanding and finally accepting myself for who I am. This is a journey all gay and lesbian people have to take. Unfortunately for some, acceptance doesn’t happen and they end up taking their own lives. I almost did.
So, yes. I do pay my taxes. I contribute to society. I provide employment to fellow Kenyans. I am a brother, a son, a friend, a confidant and an incredibly patriotic citizen of this beautiful country. I live through the same security concerns that all Kenyans live through. I experience the same rise in cost of living that all Kenyans experience. I am Kenyan. If my being gay, something I have absolutely no control over, or supporting “gayism” is cause for you to feel ashamed, for you to feel like I am shaming my former school, if my sexual orientation causes you to call on Jesus who, as the Bible so clearly says, preached love, if you have a problem with who I am, what I do, where I do it, then bye Felicia.
On 13thJanuary 2014, a bill that was passed by the Senate of Nigeria in November 2011 and The House of Representatives of Nigeria in May 2013 was enacted into law by the President, H.E Goodluck Jonathan. The Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, among other things, prohibits the “public show of same sex amorous relationships directly or indirectly“. On 24th February 2014, The President of Uganda, H.E Yoweri Museveni signed into law the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Act which was passed by parliament in December 2013 and introduced as a private members bill in 2009 by Member of Parliament, David Bahati. This law, among other things, prescribes a life sentence for repeat homosexuality.
- Section 162 of Kenya’s Penal Code Act talks of carnal knowledge against the order of nature.
- So does section 145 of Uganda’s Penal Code Act.
- Chapter 14 of the Penal Law of Liberia criminalizes voluntary sodomy.
- Instances of human rights abuses for gay and lesbian people.
- Access to health becomes incredibly difficult as a result of these laws because individuals are not able to openly speak about their sexual partners.
- People get evicted from their dwelling places due to the fact that they are gay or lesbian.
- Gay and lesbian individuals become targets of attacks in the streets and in social spaces.
- The society effectively considers the individuals criminal due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
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?
In Kenya, and indeed in Africa, there exists a large number of gay, bisexual, lesbian, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons. We may be a minority but we do make up a percentage of the population. One does not choose to be part of any of the clusters mentioned above; one simply IS in the cluster they are in. However, this group of persons suffers greatly from various forms of injustice from every angle. Just because a man is different, he is beaten up by a mob. Just because a woman is different, she is raped so as to conform to the norm. Just because a person is intersex, they are placed in isolation in prison for months on end. The LGBTI community also makes up a section of the citizenry that pay taxes. It makes up a section of the citizenry that provides services. It makes up a section of the citizenry without which several industries will not survive. We are a people who have a function in society. We are a people who have families. We have people who depend on us. We have people who love us, not just because of our sexual orientation or gender identities, but because we are people. Because we are all that, because we are different, because we are a community, we are a part of this great country, we are Kenyans. Kenya may not constitutionally be a Christian nation but it does have a great number of Christians. Among the Christians are persons within the LGBTI community. The Bible contains parts, interpretations of which may create the impression that homosexuals are evil. The same Bible also says that we shouldn’t judge others lest we be judged ourselves. Christianity’s core principle is love. Christ taught mankind to love their neighbor as they love themselves. Christ taught that we should love each other because we know that we are forever loved by him. Christ taught that we should do to others what we would have them do to us. Saint Paul taught that love does no harm to its neighbor making love the fulfillment of the law. He taught that love is patient and kind and doesn’t envy nor boast nor is it proud. He taught that love is not self-seeking nor does it keep a record of wrongs. He taught that love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. The Bible teaches that above all, we should love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins. With all that in mind, let us remember that whatever position you take towards homosexuality, towards the intersex, towards the transgender community, hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers all wrongs.