Anti-LGBT Bill in Kenya Rejected
August 19, 2014 by Ashley Fowler, HRC Global Engagement Program Assistant
A Kenyan bill that would punish same-sex conduct with life imprisonment for citizens or public stoning for foreigners has been rejected, according to leading Kenyan LGBT activist Eric Gitari. Gitari, who has repeatedly spoken out against the bill, describes it as unconstitutional and an embarrassment to the country.
The parliament’s Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs rejected the bill, finding it to be unconstitutional. Early reports suggest that other reasons for the bill was rejected included its improper introduction to parliament and the fact that it would be in violation of Kenya’s international obligations.
Same-sex conduct in Kenya is already punishable with up to 14 years in prison and the recent proposal would have drastically increased punishments associated with same-sex conduct. The proposal was supported by a fringe political party, the Republican Liberty Party, which has no elected members in parliament. In addition, even anti-LGBT members of parliament, like Irungu Kangata, head of the parliament’s anti-LGBT caucus, opposed the proposed killing of gay individuals.
Stay tuned the situation in Kenya and international LGBT issues at hrc.org/international.
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