A gay rights campaign group has filed a case in Kenya’s High Court calling for the decriminalisation of gay sex.
The Kenyan National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission said in a statement on Friday that the case, which challenges the constitutionality of certain sections of the penal code, will be heard by the Constitutional and Human Rights Division of the High Court in the capital, Nairobi.
Last year, Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto said there was no room for gay people in the country.
Most religious groups in Kenya and other African countries are strongly opposed to homosexuality, saying it is un-African.
The law demands a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment for consensual gay sex among adults. Hundreds of people have been prosecuted in the last few years under Kenya’s anti-gay penal code.
“Those laws degrade the inherent dignity of affected individuals by outlawing their most private and intimate means of self-expression,” the group said in its petition.
US President Barack Obama called for the decriminalisation of gay sex on a visit last summer. But Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta told President Obama that while the US and Kenya agree on a lot, there are some things that cultures or societies “just don’t accept”.
(AP Photo/Ben Curtis)