Kenya Hub

U.S. Embassy In Kenya To Celebrate Pride


American diplomats in Kenya are breaking some pro-gay ground next week.

Identity Kenya reports that the U.S. embassy there will celebrate LGBT pride next Tuesday, June 26th. This is the first time American officials have celebrated pride in the African nation, where gay love remains illegal, and local activists hope this will be a watershed moment for Kenyan society.

Eric Gitari, a queer activist who works for the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society, told reporter Denis Nzioka, "Pride, which the White house and most American embassies across the world mark June every, is a powerful example to governments on how to leadership should be in protecting minority groups, in celebrating diversity and fighting prejudices."

"For some of us fighting for the respect and equal rights of LGBTIQ persons in Kenya, it inspires hope for a near future where the Kenyan government will take a strong stand against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity-in legislation, policy and practices."

It's unclear whether there will be any backlash against the U.S. effort, but it wouldn't be surprising. Homosexuality is still very much disdained by the majority of Kenyans, so much so that earlier this year a crowd stoned a gay man to death in the nation's capital, Nairobi.

Gay Man Stoned To Death Outside Nairobi


Identity Kenya reports that an apparently gay man from Kayole estate, outside Nairobi, was stoned to death on May 27th.

The man was a cook at a food-vending kiosk in an open-air market portion of the estate. He was discovered by passersby having sex with a male co-worker, who seems to have done prep-work in the kiosk. According to Identity Kenya:

It is said the two have ‘been enjoying prolonged stares for month and the deceased made the first move.’

The two are said to have agreed to have meet up behind the Catholic Church building in Soweto estate at 8pm on the fateful day.

From there, sources say, they began to have sex.

The area is described as ‘deserted with bushes and a dumping site.’

In the darkness, the two were caught with passersby as they were having sex and they were beaten up.

Later, a crowd milled around and started to stone the two men amidst insults.

One of the men survived by crawling away from the mob. "Anonymous sources" tell Identity Kenya that the survivor suffers broken arms and internal bleeding.

The dead man's body was discovered by authorities on the morning of May 28th, in a "dump site" not far from where he was murdered. His remains were taken to a mortuary, and he was buried in early June. Identity Kenya doesn't report whether police are searching his killers.

Note: There was something very much like a witch scare in Kayole not long ago, in which the townspeople became terrified of half-mythical transvestite serial killer. Anti-gay sentiment is always prevalent in Kenya, but the scare probably doesn't help.

David Kuria, Gay Activist, Runs For The Kenyan Senate: VIDEO


The out, lovely, and terribly brave pro-gay (and anti-poverty) activist David Kuria is running for a senate seat in Kenya. He does this despite the fact that, should he ascend to public office, several of his new colleagues will rather he rot in a jail cell than roam the halls of power.

Kuria runs at considerable personal risk. Though not as violently anti-gay as neighboring Uganda, Kenya takes its legal proscriptions against homosexual behavior very seriously. And Kenya's rural western reaches have seen some of the millenium's most heinous explosions of atavistic tribal barbarity. But Kuria seems neither wrathful nor scared. Meet him and his family in a brief video by S. Leo Chiang and Johnny Symons, viewable AFTER THE JUMP ...

Continue reading "David Kuria, Gay Activist, Runs For The Kenyan Senate: VIDEO" »

Towleroad Guide to the Tube #1070

TOM LEPPERT: Senate candidate's rivals attack former Dallas mayor for appearing in Gay Pride parade. Ugly stuff. Lots of background at the Dallas Voice.

KENYA: Mob storms safe-sex seminar for gay men.

THE SIMPSONS: The 500th episode's genius opening sequence gets put in slo-mo.

STOP TEASING THE FISH: A puffer fish goes after a laser.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.

Kenyan Chief Justice Willy Mutunga: 'Gay Rights are Human Rights' - VIDEO


Jim Burroway at Box Turtle Bulletin comments on a surprising video that turned up on YouTube this week featuring Dr. Willy Mutunga, the Chief Justice of Kenya, declaring "gay rights are human rights". The speech was given at a groundbreaking ceremony for FIDA Uganda, a Ugandan organization of Women Lawyers.

Says Mutunga in the video:

The other frontier of marginalization is the gay rights movement. Gay rights are human rights. Here I’m simply confining my statement to the context of human rights and social justice paradigm, and avoiding the controversy that exists in our constitutions and various legislation. As far as I know, human rights principles that we work on, do not allow us to implement human rights selectively. We need clarity on this issue within the human rights movement in East Africa, if we are to face the challenges that are spearheaded by powerful political and religious forces in our midst. I find the arguments made by some of our human rights activists, the so-called “moral arguments” simply rationalizations for using human rights principles opportunistically and selectively.

Writes Burroway:

The Chief Justice’s speech in Uganda is interesting for three reasons.

First, his call for recognizing that “gay rights are human rights” actually pre-dates an identical declaration from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by two full months.

Secondly, the woman wearing lavender you see seating herself at the beginning of the video is Uganda’s Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga, who played an important role in reviving the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in October.

And finally, Uganda and Kenya close neighbors, sharing a common history as part of Britian’s East African colonies, and they maintain extensive political and economic ties. Much of Uganda’s imports and exports flow through the Kenyan port of Mombasa, and the two countries are part of a larger emerging common market, the East African Community. The situation for LGBT people in Kenya is generally much better than in Uganda, although there have been instances of mob violence against suspected gay people in recent years.


Continue reading "Kenyan Chief Justice Willy Mutunga: 'Gay Rights are Human Rights' - VIDEO" »

Kenyan Magazine Exposes Sex Trafficking Trends

SextraffickingThere's some troubling news out of Kenya. The LGBT magazine Identity reports that unemployed men are being lured to Gulf states with the promise of jobs but are in actuality being recruited for a booming sex trafficking industry there.

Jordan-based website Al Bawaba offers the unsettling details:

The report alleges that gay and bisexual men are lured from university campuses – particularly from Kenyatta University – with promises of high-paying jobs and then transported to labor as sex workers for men in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.   

According to the magazine, due to Kenya’s soaring unemployment rate, the men are easily fooled into this trap.

Qatar specifically, has no laws against human trafficking, which has made cracking down on the practice nearly impossible.

One man, a Canadian named Mark who lives in the Emirates, said he's seen the impact of such trades, and points the finger squarely at the region's homophobic cultures.

"We have seen a lot of the elite and super wealthy want to be gay, but that would go against their traditions, so instead they often marry and then hire or do this kind of thing, to have their real desires met. It is a problem of society not opening up to the gay lifestyle and forcing it to the background," he said.


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