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Is Being Gay Legal in Kenya?

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It’s a big NO. “homosexuality is an abomination in most African countries its perceived to have been brought by the west”

Africa is the second-largest continent geographically and also the second largest  populated with over 1.2 billion people. Its approximately 11.6 million mi² (30 million km²) by area. Africa consists of 54 countries fully recognized by the United Nations, two non recognized and independent states.

“Same-sex relations are illegal in 72 countries, of which 32 countries are in Africa, 11 countries, it is punishable by death penalty. 5 countries have decriminalized same sex marriages. Over half of the percentages of African people discriminate against LGBTQIA’s+. This should paint a picture of how things have gotten out of control within the last few years and how much immediate help is needed for safety and human dignity. 

African people want to get away from the colonial ways but still practice outdated colonial legislation and prohibitions about LGBTQIA’s+ “this is not our ways” , “it’s against the order of nature” and bible verses are often used to bash and discriminate against LGBTQIA’s+ in their day to day lives, discrimination with employment, in schools curriculums, in sports, their beliefs and faith, aiding in detentions, arrests and torture by the local communities including police. Homosexuality in Africa is associated with devil worshiping, Sodom and Gomorrah and worse than terrorism. 

Kenya’s anti-homosexuality law, criminalizes consensual same-sex unions and promises up to 14 years.   LGBTQIA’s+ people are treated as second-class citizens in Africa.

South Africa is the only country in Africa to legalize same-sex marriage since 2006 and has laws against hate speech, hate crimes, discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and identity. It was the 5th country globally to legalize same sex marriage. 

5 African Countries that Decriminalized Same Sex Relationships

  1. Cape Verde (2004)
  2. Lesotho (2012)
  3. Mozambique (2015)
  4. Botswana (2019)
  5. Angola (2021)

Countries that LGBTQIA’s+ People are punished by death 

AfghanistanBruneiIran Mauritania
Myanmar (Burma)NigeriaQatarSaudi Arabia 
Somalia Sudan United Arab EmiratesYemen 

African countries criminalizing LGBTQIA’s+ people 

Algeria Burundi Cameroon Chad Comoros 
Egypt Eritrea Eswatini Ethiopia Ghana 
Guinea Kenya Liberia Libya Malawi 
Mauritania Mauritius Morocco Namibia Nigeria 
Senegal Sierra Leone Somalia South Sudan Sudan 
Tanzania The Gambia Togo Tunisia Uganda 
Zambia Zimbabwe 

“African political, religious and traditional leaders are the key people to deciding who should sleep with who”.

Kenya always bans all LGBTQIA’s themed films from streaming on local movie theaters and television. If there is a beneficial factor for the country, they can air the film for a few days and then ban it. 

Few months ago in Kenya, Kabarak University students were advised to maintain a strict and standard dress code. Ladies should wear dresses and men should wear pants so as to avoid confusion towards the kids and youths. There is a proposed bill to ban cross-dressing.

While the African government and top leaders keep quiet and some in agreement that homosexuality is a crime, it encourages violence, hostility, rape and even death towards the LGBTIA’s people.” there is no legal protection. No safety. You have to hire your own security if you can afford it or atleast elope to other areas where you are not known and later, you have to run again from the community because you are a target.

Kenya’s previous President, Uhuru Kenyatta had said “gay rights is really a non-issue”,. In February 2023 the new President, Mr. William Ruto and his  Deputy President Mr. Rigathi Gachagua said clearly while gassing up the attendees that Kenya has “no room” for Homosexuality because it is devil worshiping.

Some prominent members of parliament have been caught discussing to make Kenyan Laws about LGBTQIA’s+ same as Uganda and Nigerias, which is a life imprisonment if caught in same sex relationship. Uganda is well known for its no nonsense anti-gay laws which are formed by a dictator who has served for over 36 years,(President. Mr. Museveni).  Human rights activists and NGOs all around, have vowed to fight to make sure this doesn’t happen. 

The National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC)in Kenya has been fighting for  10 years for the right to register as a non-governmental organization. Finally Kenya’s high court ruled in their favor on February 24th 2023 the movement was led by Njeri Gateru.

Kenya president, Mr. William Ruto said the government respects the Supreme Court’s 3-2 decision ruling but that “our culture and religion does not allow same-sex marriages.” he then added that It is not possible for our country Kenya to allow same-sex marriages. … It will happen in other countries but not in Kenya,“This has brought an uproar against LGBTQIA’s+  community abuse, violence and rape in the name of curing them. 

It’s now time for African religious and political leaders to acknowledge Human Rights and Equality for all citizens, burn away those “colonial rule books” and accept that LGBTQIAs+ individuals are everywhere and are here to stay” LGBTQIA’s+ people remain vigilant in this continent of over a billion people even if some end up dying for it. To support Out in Afrika and our much needed projects, we encourage you to donate by clicking here.

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