LGBTQ: U.S says donor money not linked ruling on gay rights


When a section of the LGBTQ community protested against a previous High Court ruling that barred their registration in the Country. [David Gichuru, Standard]

The United States government has distanced itself from accusations that it influenced the Supreme Court ruling in favour of same-sex unions.

Supreme Court last Friday allowed for the registration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) associations by the Non Governmental (NGO) Coordination Board, a decision that has triggered an uproar among Kenyans. 

However, US Ambassador to Kenya, Meg Whitman, says there is no connection between food donations from her country and the court ruling.

Speaking in Kajiado during a visit to Governor Joseph Ole Lenku’s office, the Ambassador said every country has a right to make its decision on the matter without any push from other countries.

"We have had a cordial relationship with Kenya, and the Kenyan government knows the US perspective. Although we in the US respect LGBTQI views and rights, we can’t push other countries on the same,’’ said Ms Whitman.

She said her country will respect the decision made by Kenyans on the matter. 

"I want to underscore that there is absolutely no linkage between food and drought relief and Kenyans' stance on LGBTQI. We have been giving our donations without any condition," said the Ambassador.

Whitman was referring to the Sh16 billion donated by America in support of Kenya's drought relief efforts, shortly after a visit by US First Lady Jill Biden.

According to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the fund will help meet the urgent needs of approximately 1.3 million starving people across Kenya.

In addition, USAID will provide emergency food items such as sorghum, maize, yellow split peas and vegetable oil for families living in areas where local markets are not operational. 

Governor Lenku said their meeting centered on water harvesting, climate change, food and livestock production.

"I am glad the US government has given us a hearing and promised to work with us to restore the worsening livelihoods of our people," said the county boss.