President of Kenya says LGBT+ rights will not be discussed under his rule
The President of Kenya has stated in an interview that LGBT+ rights will not be discussed under his rule.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, who has been President of the African country for five years, said that being gay is “not acceptable” and “not agreeable” in Kenyan culture, and that LGBT+ rights are “of no importance” in his country.
Sharing his views with CNN Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour, the leader said that he wanted to be “very clear” regarding his stance on LGBT+ rights.
“I want to be very clear. I will not engage in a subject that is not of any major importance to the people and the republic of Kenya. This is not an issue as you would want to put it, of human rights – this is an issue of society. It is an issue of our own base, our own culture as a people,” he said in the interview.
“Irregardless of which community you come from, this is not acceptable, this is not agreeable,” he continued.
“This is not about the world looking at us and saying “yes” or “no”, this is upon the people of Kenya themselves, who have bestowed a constitution. After several years, they have stated that this is not a subject they are willing to engage in at this time.”
Amanpour, who looked somewhat flabbergasted by the reaction, remarked that the leader would be “getting himself into trouble” if he continued to assert the dismissive remarks.
“You’re going to get yourself into trouble,” remarked Amanpour.
“You have just categorically stated that this is an issue for us, not the Kenyan people, and you don’t think that the idea of their privacy, their equality, their rights, is important.”
Kenyatta said that LGBT+ rights may be on the Kenyan agenda in due course, but not during his tenure as President.
“In years to come, possibly long after I’m President, who knows, maybe this will be the point that our society will want to freely and openly discuss those issues. I have to be honest with you. That is the position we have maintained. These are the laws that we have. And those laws are supported 100% by 99% of the Kenyan people, irregardless of where they come from.
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“Their freedoms must be taken into the entire context of society,” he added.
It appears that the prioritisation of LGBT+ rights at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting this week was lost on the leader.
During the meeting of the world leaders, Home Secretary Amber Rudd pledged a cash injection of £5.6 million to “promote equality across the Commonwealth”.
All eyes have been on Kenyatta since his victorious 2017 general election win was declared rigged.
A second election in October secured his Presidency.