KFCB's banning of LGBTQ films is most absurd

KFCB Acting CEO Wambua Christopher. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Was the Kenya Films Classification Board (KFCB) formed on the foundation of Christianity? Even God gave people a free will; to either believe in Him or not. 

KFCB Acting CEO, Wambua Christopher, recently said that all films containing LGBTQ+ content are illegal in Kenya.

You don’t ban a film just because you can not understand love! The production of #IAmSamuel, among others, defied homophobia and are now enraging the homophobes. The ban is an imposition of heterosexuality as the norm and a denial of the existence of same-sex sexuality in Kenya. Let consenting adults decide for themselves. Besides, religious reasons are just a biased excuse for individual beliefs since Kenya is a secular state. Being queer, LGBTQ+ is not being different, love is not different.

For instance, The 'I am Samuel' documentary is a film filed over five years and it is a story about queer love, family and affirmation. Banning #IAmSamuel is pointless! We are not a religious state. Religion should not influence legislation and policy. That is demeaning democracy.

KFCB’s role is to rate films. It is pointless to ban a film because it propagates values that are inconsistent with our constitution, culture, values and norms. Kenya is not a religious nation nor are its laws.

KFCB is a government agency and not a Christian union or organisation. The work of the government, including its parastatals and other agencies, is not to “Christianise” things and the country. I dare say that as a country, we are hypocrites! We only choose the values that suit us.

Kenya is a secular country. God does not judge you whether you are “straight” or part of the LGBTQ+ Community; He loves us all.

Movies and films are supposed to be a reflection of the society. LGBTQ+ was and still is a part of society. When KFCB bans “Rafiki” or “I AM Samuel” they are not banning gay films. They are not protecting the nation's morality. They are directing violence towards those who have refused to fall in line. Because, like all systems of oppression, heterosexuality has soldiers. We must accept the dynamism of society.

Has KFCB become the guardians of the Christian faith? KFCB should let creatives be creatives.

The LGBTQ+ persons still go through homophobia and violence. I thought religion says love your neighbour? I thought religion says everyone is created in God’s image? When it comes to the LGBTQ+ Community, is that where we draw the line? KFCB should also ban films with sex before marriage, robbery, GBV, gluttony, corruption, murders etc. These are also anti-Christian.

Banning a film for “promoting homosexuality in society” is absurd. The film is showcasing someone’s life and their own experiences and how they live in a homophobic society. If anything, it shows courage and fearlessness.

KFCB should stop distracting us from the real issues. They should classify the films, not ban them.

-Mr Mwangi is a sexual reproductive health and rights Youth expert. @alvinmwangi254

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