Obama will raise gay rights issues despite Kenya’s threats
A White House spokesperson has said the President has every intention of discussing gay rights on his trip to Kenya – despite the country’s warnings not to.
On Monday, anti gay protesters in Kenya – where gay sex is currently illegal and punishable by up to 14 years in prison – took to Twitter to warn the President to avoid the subject of homosexuality and gay rights during his upcoming visit to the country later this month.
“Spare us the gay talk,” one user commented, while another tweeted: “That gay vibe should remain in America.”
The social media campaign to dissuade President Obama from discussing pro-gay issues followed an earlier anti-gay protests that took place in the country’s capital of Nairobi.
During the protest, Kenyan MP Irungu Kangata said, “We are telling Mr Obama when he comes to Kenya this month and he tries to bring the abortion agenda, the gay agenda, we shall tell him to shut up and go home.”
Fellow legislator Jamleck Kamau added: “Anybody who tries to come and preach to this country that they should allow homosexuality, I think he’s totally lost.
“And I would also like to add, our son from the U.S., Barack Obama, when he comes here, to simply avoid that topic completely because Kenyans will not be happy with him if he comes to bring the issue of homosexuality in this country.”
However, it seems President Obama, who is is due to arrive in the country in four week’s time to open the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, intends to do nothing of the sort.
Speaking on Monday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said: “I’m confident the president will not hesitate to make clear that the protection of basic universal human rights in Kenya is also a priority and consistent with the values that we hold dear here in the United States of America.”
Obama has used previous trips to Africa to urge governments to decriminalise homosexuality.
It was recently revealed that two men secretly married in the White House – before Barack Obama officially supported same-sex marriage.
Former White House speechwriter Jon Lovett revealed that he secretly officiated a wedding in the famous residence, while Barack Obama was still officially ‘evolving’ on the issue.