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Ruto declares his stand on LGBTQ community in Kenya

 Deputy President William Ruto. [Nathan Ochunge, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto on Friday stated that his Christian background teaches against homosexuality but if elected president, the Constitution, and the law will be the guiding principle.

Speaking during a candid interview moderated by Mvemba Phezo Dizolele at the Center for Strategic International Studies, the DP reiterated that no one should attack another Kenyan because they do not like what they are doing.

“My position as a Christian is that Bible teaches us against homosexuality and related matters, that is me as William Ruto.

“As a public leader and a servant, the constitution and the law in Kenya becomes the guiding principle. Whatever is within the constitution and the law I will respect. So long as everybody is operating within the law and within what’s permissible in the constitution they have nothing to fear because we are a nation governed by the rule of law,” he stated.

Asked whether members of the LGBTQ community will be safe if he is elected the fifth president of Kenya, Ruto maintained that every Kenyan must be subjected to the rule of law and only permissible authorities should take action on those who contravene the law.

“I do not think anybody should pick up arms against any Kenyan irrespective of whether you like what they are doing or not. Every Kenyan must be subjected to the rule of law and if you think any Kenyan is not acting in the right way, it is not for you to decide to harm them, it is for the law to take its course.

"No Kenyan should be subjected to any form of harassment or any form of harm. The only authority that can take action over anybody is the authorities that are permissible within the law and if a Kenyan has not broken any law, nobody should harass them," he stated. 

This appears to be a shift from his stand in 2015 when he warned anyone pushing for gay rights in Kenya, adding that they did not have a place in the country’s society.

At the time, Ruto scoffed at the United States (US) Supreme Court ruling that granted rights across American states for same-sex marriages, saying the same will never be replicated locally.

“The other day you heard that in America the court has ruled about homosexuality but in this country, we will defend what is right and what our faith states,” he said.

The DP added that Kenya is a God-fearing nation and will never recognise anyone pushing gay and lesbian rights, asking those who want to practice it to look for other countries.

He said an overwhelming majority of Kenyans are Christians whose faith only recognises marriage as a union between a man and a woman as ordained by God at creation.

 DP William Ruto [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

In 2018, President Uhuru Kenyatta declared the LGBTQ debate a non-issue that went against the cultural beliefs of a majority of Kenyans.

Speaking in an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Uhuru stated: “I want to be very clear, I will not engage in any subject that is not of any major importance to the people and the Republic of Kenya. This is not an issue of human rights, this is an issue of society, of our own base as a culture as a people regardless of which society you come from.”

 President Uhuru Kenyatta in an interview with Christiane Amanpour. [File]

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