Why Kenyan LGBT want their rights

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The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning came out of the closet and openly declared their sexual orientations to the public and reporters outside the Milimani law courts. A ruling on gay rights had been postponed.

The High Court, however, postponed until May 24 a ruling on whether to strike out or uphold a colonial-era law banning gay sex.

Judge Chacha Mwita said the bench constituted to hear the case needed more time to prepare the ruling.

On Friday, Senior Counsel Paul Muite, who is representing the LGBT rights groups, faulted the Judiciary for failing to notify the parties that the judgment would be deferred.

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“They have got contacts of everybody and lawyers would appreciate if the Registrar of the High Court got in touch with them. In this particular case, we had observers from all over the world. It would have been courteous if they were told in advance because they would not have travelled,” he told the Star

According to Muite, the petition was about protecting the rights of the minority and has got nothing to do with the views of the majority.

“The Constitution is about protecting the rights of the minority. That is what the Judiciary is there for. It does not matter how big the majority is. That minority needs protection,” he said.

From 2013 to 2017, Kenya arrested 534 people for same-sex relationships, the government said. Kenya’s High Court began hearings on the law last year.

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Campaigners say the colonial-era law violates Kenya’s progressive 2010 Constitution, which guarantees equality, dignity and privacy for all citizens. They also submitted arguments based on India’s rejection of a similar discriminatory law in August.

It’s not completely known why someone might be lesbian, gay, straight, or bisexual. But research shows that sexual orientation is likely caused partly by biological factors that start before birth.

“People don’t decide who they’re attracted to, and therapy, treatment, or persuasion won’t change a person’s sexual orientation. You also can’t ‘turn’ a person gay. For example, exposing a boy to toys traditionally made for girls, such as dolls, won’t cause him to be gay,” said gay rights activist David Kuria. Similarly, you can’t ‘turn’ a gay person straight, he and others argue. They too spoke on the courthouse steps.

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