After months of reading from different scripts and trading accusations, yesterday President William Ruto and Azimio leader Raila Odinga united in opposing a Supreme Court ruling that gave gay and lesbian community the right to form an association.
President Ruto has been at loggerheads with Raila, who has been criticising his administration and has even planned demonstrations after a series of public rallies.
But on Thursday things took a twist. Following mounting pressure by different groups that the President takes a stand over the debate, Ruto alongside his deputy Rigathi Gachagua publicly said the official registration of an association for LGBTQ will not happen in Kenya.
Speaking during a women’s day event where he was launching the second phase of Hustler Fund at the KICC Nairobi yesterday, Ruto said although they promised to obey and respect the courts, there was a caveat.
"Not on this ruling. We will not! We will hold on to our culture and traditions. We will not allow same gender marriages,’’ said the president.
He added: "We cannot go to the streets to demand that they be allowed to marry. This can happen elsewhere but it will not happen in Kenya. Let me assure our women that I will not allow other women to bring competition or the other way round. If the men take all the men where will you get husbands? I will not allow that."
Although the President took a stand on the matter, he did not say the steps he would take following the ruling, throwing the ball to religious leaders to stand their ground and continue "fighting for culture’.’
"I want to ask all our religious leaders to stand their ground and educate our children so that our culture will be emulated by future generations,’’ he said.
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In the ruling the Supreme Court said the decision to deny LGBTQI members their right to register as an NGO, despite homosexuality being illegal in the nation, was discriminatory.
And speaking at the Jaramogi foundation, while meeting the Nairobi branch of the Council of Imams and Preachers Kenya (CIPK), Raila said they will not sit back as the Constitution is violated.
He noted that Article 45:2 of the Constitution says every adult has a right to marry a person of the opposite sex based on the free consent of the parties. Raila said the best ruling would have been for the judges to ask the community to table a petition in Parliament that would be enacted into law.
On his part, Rigathi said the ruling left him in disbelief. "Mimi nilishangaa nikashindwa kuongea. (I was in disbelief I was left speechless)… "Sasa mama akiolewa na mama, wataambiana nini? Hii maneno hatutaki, ni maneno ya kishetani kinyume na vile sisi tunaamini (Now if a woman marries a woman, what will happen? We do not want these satanic things. They are contrary to what we believe.)", he said.
Raila, who was accompanied by some Azimio leaders, said the Constitutions should be followed, arguing that it is an agenda being pushed by the West.
"It's not the role of the Judiciary to make laws. The Constitution recognises separation of powers. Let Parliament do its job. Let them decide on whether they will amend the Act or not and we will respect the outcome of Parliament," Raila said.
Wiper Democratic leader, Kalonzo Musyoka said: "We will stand with the Constitution and there is no two way about it. What we are seeing is that the Supreme Court is desperate to please the West and that’s why they gave such a ridiculous ruling. Let them know that we will not allow it.’’
Jubilee party Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni said the ruling will promote immorality and some unethical practices.
"What they are not telling us is that soon you will be recognising your child as an ‘it’ and wait for him to be of age so that they can decide whether they want to be male or female. This is bigger than we think and we must reject in totality,’’ he said.
Some Azimio allies have alleged that the government could be working with the West in trying to legalise the LGBTQI community.
Homa Bay town MP Peter Kaluma said: "The determination of the Supreme Court was handed down when the First Lady of the President of America, (Jill Biden) was arriving in Kenya. This is not a coincidence. Is it coincidental that we then see her give us Sh16 billion for hunger?’’ posed Kaluma.