'Not on my watch', President Ruto declares stand on same-sex relations

President William Ruto. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

The Government has dismissed the Supreme Court’s decision to grant homosexuals a right of association.

On Thursday, President William Ruto, presiding over celebrations to mark the International Women’s Day at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi reiterated Kenya is a Christian nation and would not endorse “gayism nor lesbianism”.

“We respect Supreme Court’s decision but doesn’t mean we have to agree with it. Our values, customs, and Christianity do not allow us to support same-sex marriages,” the President said.

“We have laws that govern us here in Kenya. I want to tell you that will not be possible…it can happen in other countries but not here,” said Ruto.

His statement was echoed by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua who said that the Kenya Kwanza administration will not endorse same-sex relations.

“We will not entertain that kind of talk here. That is the “devil’s” doing. The president of this country is God-fearing, he will do what needs to be done. In any case, we have our traditions and customs, and what they are suggesting is repugnant to morality and justice and our way of life,” Gachagua said on Thursday.

The DP wondered why men would want to be involved with other men and vice versa, saying it goes against our culture.

Amid the rife LGBTQ debate, Thika Member of Parliament Alice Ng’ang’a also chided in.

Ng’ang’a wants the president to condemn homosexuality, appealing for the disbursement of funds to ministries to conduct civic education for children.

“We say no to women marrying other women and vice versa. As a god-fearing leader, do not allow this to happen.”

“Women don’t want to compete with men. We want to be given our space as women, and we will keep the fight on this issue,” she added.

Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that the Non-Governmental Organization Coordination Board’s decision to bar homosexuals from forming recognised groups was discriminatory.

Court stated that despite homosexuality being illegal in Kenya, members of the LGBTQ community still have freedom of association.

The leaders spoke during an event to mark International Women’s Day and celebrate the achievements of women across various industries.

This year’s theme is “DigitALL innovation and technology for Gender Equality.”

Also present at Thursday’s celebrations were U.S Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman, Public Service, Affirmative Action and Gender Cabinet Secretary Aisha Jumwa, Council of Governors Chair Anne Waiguru, Governors Johnson Sakaja (Nairobi), Cecily Mbarire (Embu) among others.

Women leaders appealed to the government for more inclusion of women and girls, and to ensure that they have access to innovative digital tools to be able to close the gap in technology.