The ruling was awaited with much anxiety, not just in Kenya but across the world. It was as if there was a presidential election petition at the Supreme Court whose outcome could alter the political landscape. But no. The case was of one Eric Gitari who together with gay rights activists, had gone to court seeking decriminalisation of homosexuality in Kenya.
It can only be considered unfortunate that such a matter should have found its way into our courts in the first place. The order of nature – which even brute animals know and follow – shows same sex relations were never intended by the Creator. Otherwise, the very instruments for such intercourse would have been designed differently. Furthermore, the outcome of such relations would have resulted in procreation, which is a natural outcome of sexual relations whether in animals or humans.
And yet, these are the sad realities of our days when human rights have been pushed beyond that which is right. In spite of the unequivocal stand by Kenyans against homosexuality, there have been concerted and consistent efforts – usually heavily funded by external donors – to legalise these repugnant practices in our country. It thus came as a great relief to many Kenyans when the High Court quashed this unfortunate appeal to turn Kenya into a haven for gays.
It is sad but one of the lines the LGBTQ community have consistently exploited is discrimination and stigmatisation. The truth is that, sexual relations are such a private affair that there is no one who can tell the sexual life of an individual unless they so disclose. Why homosexuals insist on identifying themselves by their private intimacies beats logic – other than that it is part of a wider strategy to play victim to gain support as they spread their beliefs. The court was therefore right when it tore through this veil and rebuffed the petitioners’ argument that if homosexuality were not decriminalised, then the LGBTQ community would continue to suffer stigma.
Every once in a while, a nation stands at the crossroads – a place where critical decisions that could make or break its people must be made.
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It takes men and women with backbone to stand in defence of the nation against evil forces of destruction. Yet, it is in such moments that Judas opts for thirty pieces of silver in exchange for the betrayal of his own Master.
In the matter of homosexuality, we have stood at such crossroads many times. Unfortunately, some of those charged with the responsibility of safeguarding our sovereignty have proved to be weak-kneed and have succumbed to external pressure, sometimes against their own conscience. The result is that they have sold the soul of our nation to foreign ideologies.
Thankfully, not every Kenyan is beholden to powerful foreign figures and what they can offer. There is a remnant who seem to have prioritised the destiny of the nation and its people, sometimes to the exclusion of any personal benefits.
When President Kenyatta played host to President Obama of the USA a few years back, he stood on such a pedestal of dilemma when his visitor challenged him to declare his stand on homosexuality. Caught between playing the amiable host on the one hand and defending our values on the other, the president wisely but unequivocally pitched for our cherished values. He thus refused to be drawn into endorsing homosexuality as proposed by his guest.
Considering what was potentially at stake, both for Kenyatta and for the nation, it was a moment of great pride for Kenyans as our President demonstrated high level wisdom, courage, and truly principled leadership. In a nation – and indeed a continent – where governments and civil society are beholden to donors; where sycophancy and expediency rule supreme, President Kenyatta showed that succumbing to demands from those stronger than you can only be an excuse for compromising values and breaching policies.
Likewise, given the pressure that must have been upon the three honourable Judges Roselyne Aburili, Chacha Mwita and John Mativo, to deliver an internationally favourable ruling, their stand has demonstrated there are still men and women in this nation with a backbone. In upholding the provisions of Kenya’s Penal Code on sodomy, the Judges have not only remained true to the spirit of our Constitution, but also paid great respect to our values. They have shown that it is far better to stand and die for your convictions than to bow and live in compromise. Kudos to the honourable Judges!
- The writer is the Presiding Bishop of Christ is the Answer Ministries. [email protected]