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Just In: Kenya Court Upholds Ban On Gay Sex

Kenya Court Upholds Ban On Gay Sex

The judges rejected claims that a colonial-era law violated Kenya’s new constitution, which guarantees equality, dignity and privacy to all citizens.

The penal code criminalises “carnal knowledge against the order of nature” – widely understood to refer to anal intercourse between men.

Gay sex is punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

Kenya’s National Gay And Lesbian Human Rights Commission says it has dealt with 15 prosecutions under the penal codes in 2018, with no convictions.

But it had argued for the law to be scrapped because it gives rise to a climate of homophobia.

In 2016, LGBT rights activists filed a case with Kenya’s High Court saying that homosexual relations should be decriminalised.

They argued that the state has no business regulating matters of intimacy.

The case wasn’t heard until February 2018 and a verdict was initially expected in February 2019 – but delayed until Friday.

The judges ruled that while they respected changes in the law adopted in other countries around the world, it was the court’s duty to respect prevailing Kenyan values.

Many Christian and Muslim groups have supported the current law, and the Kenyan attorney-general had argued against decriminalisation.

Many African countries still enforce strict laws governing homosexuality, in most cases a legacy of laws imposed by the colonial rulers.

BBC

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