We are women who have been in a steady romantic relationship over the past five years. We are both 28 years old and love each other dearly. We recently bought an apartment jointly and moved in together last year. We have now resolved to get married and live officially like a family. However, both our families do not approve of our relationship as lesbians and have branded us outcasts. They have even vowed not to attend our wedding. No one seems to understand that we were in normal relationships with men but walked out after painful break-ups. We both gave our previous relationships, which society terms ‘normal’, a chance, but realised they couldn’t work. We would appreciate your honest legal opinion on whether we can get married in church or the Registrar of Marriages.
?Belinda and Kimberly, Nairobi.
Dear Belinda and Kimberly,
Kenyan law does not recognise same sex marriages. According to Article 45 (2) of the Constitution, adults can only marry people of the opposite sex based on their free consent. Even though marriage may not be possible, the Bill of Rights under the Constitution provides for equality and freedom from discrimination to all citizens regardless of race, sex, social origin, conscience and belief. For property, there are no laws that bar same sex couples from being joint registered owners. Moreover, property registration forms have no provisions that require filling of sexual orientation of applicants.
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