Kenya Hub

LGBT Refugees Of Sub-Saharan Africa

HomosexualIsEvilToday at Salon, journalist Naomi Abraham introduces us to "Fred," a 48-year-old gay man from Uganda. Fred lives in Kenya now. According to Abraham, Fred "became a refugee in December 2009 after he was brutally assaulted by a mob in Kampala for being gay."

On the night of his near fatal assault, [Fred] says, a large group of people from his neighborhood stood outside his bedroom quietly waiting to get the final proof they needed to confirm their suspicions [about his sexuality]. When they had heard enough, they broke his window and attacked him and his partner.

And so Fred fled to Nairobi. 

Naomi Abraham uses Fred's story to open up a brief but exquisitely written investigation of anti-LGBT sentiment in sub-Saharan Africa, explaining how bigotry has caused a vast, silent migration of women and men just like Fred. According to Abraham, they "move to urban centers in neighboring countries not necessarily because these places are any less hostile to homosexuals, but for the anonymity that comes with being a newcomer in a densely populated area."

These migrations, as well as the hateful political rhetoric that necessitates them, are "new for Africa," writes Abraham:

In the past, homosexuality was rarely brought up privately, let alone in the public sphere. The new acrimonious tone against homosexuality espoused by politicians and religious leaders has percolated across all strata of African society including the media. It has also given rise to increasing homophobic and transphobic violence, which for a growing number of gay Africans has meant that life in their own countries has become untenable ...

... Some pundits believe that the shift to a more sinister form of homophobia in many African countries over the last decade has its root in conservative religious indoctrination. Some reports suggest that U.S. evangelical groups have had a hand in creating the venomous anti-gay attitudes and violence that have swept over the continent and pushed gay Africans out of their countries.

"It wasn’t until the late 1990s that we saw Africans with the help of American conservative religious groups using this issue (homosexuality) as an organizing tool," said Rev. Kapya Kaoma, an Anglican priest from Zambia who has studied the U.S. evangelical influence on African societies.

Fred has sought asylum in the US. He is waiting to learn whether his application has been accepted.

On the night of his near fatal assault, he says, a large group of people from his neighborhood stood outside his bedroom quietly waiting to get the final proof they needed to confirm their suspicions. When they had heard enough, they broke his window and attacked him and his partner.

LGBT Fears Grow as Gay Activist Murdered in Kenya

Charles Omondi Racho, a gay activist in Kenya, was murdered in August according to fellow gay activist Adams Lenox, of Kisumu Initiative for Positive Empowerment (KIPE), a local NGO which is also involved in the fight against HIV and AIDS within the regions of Western Kenya, LGBT Asylum reports.

Kenya He said Racho was attacked and killed by a group of "rowdy youth" who earlier identified him at a local night club and "threatened to discipline him for being a gay".

“Imagine this guy was attacked in the presence of his cousin who was also threatened by the same gang and all his belongings taken and when we reported the matter to the police, no action was taken only for the police to laugh at us and accuse us of going against the local culture,” Lenox said.

The killing followed a series of threats and hostilities directed at members of the gay community in Kisumu, Lenox told the newspaper. In July an LGBT workshop in Kisumu was attacked and the meeting venue set on fire "by rowdy youths who accused them of going against the local culture". Behind The Mask reported in July on the growth of the organised LGBT community in the Kisumu area.

Racho's cousin, who was with him in the night club and also threatened and says he is now in hiding, said that Racho had been attacked twice before. In one attack at the Kisumu bus station his clothes were torn and other personal effects including documents lost as "angry youths descended on him with blows and kicks just because he was a known gay".

The Truth newspaper, which reported the story, details much more about the dangerous atmosphere for gays in Kenya. Racho's body was dumped by the side of the road.

Kenyan PM Raila Odinga Calls for Arrests of Homosexuals


Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga called for gay people to be arrested at a rally on Sunday, the Daily Nation reports:

Addressing a rally at Kamukunji grounds in his Langata Constituency, the PM said their behaviour was unnatural.

“If found the homosexuals should be arrested and taken to relevant authorities,” Mr Odinga said.

The PM thrilled the crowd when he asserted that the recent census showed there were more women than men and there was no need for same sex relationships.

He said it was madness for a man to fall in love with another man while there were plenty of women and added that there was no need for women to engage in lesbianism yet they can bear children.

Said Odinga: "We will not tolerate such behaviours in the country. The constitution is very clear on this issue and men or women found engaging in homosexuality will not be spared

David Kuria, a prominent gay activist in Kenya, told the BBC that Odinga's were surprising:

"It was believed to be the first time he has made such comments. Mr Kuria told the BBC's Network Africa programme that he did not know why Mr Odinga made the comments. He said most African leaders who condemned homosexuals were trying to gain political leverage but he said Mr Odinga was already popular so his statement was 'surprising'. An MP in neighbouring Uganda last year tried to introduce the death penalty for some homosexual acts, sparking international condemnation. The BBC's Caroline Karobia in Nairobi says gay people are largely left alone in Kenya as long as they do not draw attention to themselves. The city is home to some well-known gay pubs, she says."

Kuria warned that gay "people will succumb to extortion, blackmail and violence" because of the remarks.

News: Wonder Woman, Eddie Long, Serbia, Kenya

 road In today's sermon, Eddie Long said that he is "not going to be pulled into a street fight" and that "In times of challenge, there are several things that come out."

Ww  road David E. Kelley plans to bring Wonder Woman back to television. Let's hope he doesn't turn Diana into an Ally McBeal-type.

 road Does this mean that Robert Knight of Coral Ridge Ministries believes in aliens? "If a Martian sat down and watched TV for a week during this new season, he would conclude that Americans worship sex, not God, that a large segment of the population is homosexual, and that our attention spans are about three seconds."

 road 18,000 march for gay rights in Johannesburg: "We are aware of the fact that LGBT people across Africa are being arrested, their human rights are under threat and it's a growing phenomenon on the continent. South Africa having an enlightened constitution, we have a responsibility to reach out to our brothers and sisters in Africa."

 road Former Atlanta police gay liaison and intersex officer claims she's being blackballed.

Jg  road Jake Gyllenhaal gets scruffy again.

 road Civil Rights Defenders have written a letter to Serbian police about this week's gay pride parade in that country: “We welcome positive steps taken by the Serbian authorities, as well as the promises given by MUP (Serbian police). Because of all this we expect that all given promises will be put into effect.”

 road David Beckham teaches his son how to bend it.

 road 74 churches in Kenyan have complained to that country's president after Cabinet Minister Esther Murugi voiced her support for the gay community: “We have observed Hon Murugi Transforming herself to becoming a trouble shooter and one who makes statements focused on demeaning and antagonizing the faith community in Kenya."

 road Facebook helped The A List's Mike Ruiz get his job on the show.

 road Cathy the comic strip utters its final "ack."

Watch: CNN Covers Gay Rights in Cuba, South Africa, the UK, India, Germany, and Kenya


CNN takes a quick survey of several countries around the world — Cuba, South Africa, the UK, India, Germany, and Kenya — and where they stand on gay rights issues. 


Continue reading "Watch: CNN Covers Gay Rights in Cuba, South Africa, the UK, India, Germany, and Kenya" »

News: Elton John, South Korea, Desmond Tutu, Call Bear

 roadNut arrested for death threats against Elton John. Threat video.

 roadAIDS clinic, gay leader targeted in Kenya: "The Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) clinic had been threatened with attack on Christian radio station Baraka FM with a closure deadline of today, 12 March. Their broadcasts said: 'homosexuals are not human beings and should be treated as such'."

Tutu  roadArchbishop Desmond Tutu in the Washington Post: "Hate has no place in the house of God. No one should be excluded from our love, our compassion or our concern because of race or gender, faith or ethnicity -- or because of their sexual orientation. Nor should anyone be excluded from health care on any of these grounds."

 roadWay better than the Twilight: Eclipse trailer.

 roadRoverta Boen, opened first gay bar in northeast Florida, dies.

 roadFormer Marilyn Musgrave staffer now a gay rights supporter.

 roadConfessions of a Las Vegas Call Bear: "So, yes: I'm a Las Vegas call bear. But don't be fooled into assuming that all my clients come from the world of the bears. Far from it. The men who hire me run the gamut from 18-year-olds who want their first male-male experience to be with a man who knows what he's doing to men in their 80s who just want to be held by a lumberjack type for an hour. They might be fat, they might be average, or they might have bodies so perfectly sculpted they should be underwear models."

Satc2  road New promo photos for Sex and the City 2.

 roadHeeeeere's Johnny: Best cuckoo clock ever.

 roadDisney refuses to add "ex-gays" to its anti-discrimination policies: "Greg Quinlan, director of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX), presented the resolution at the recent annual shareholders meeting in San Antonio. But he explains that Disney board chairman John E. Pepper 'responded in saying that the current policies were very inclusive and were very broad and that they could not lift every possible nuance to come.'"

 roadThe Absolut Hunk is now the Charisma Bath Towels Hunk.

 road'Shades of Yellow': The first Hmong LGBT support group in the world.

 roadTracy Young coy about relationship with Kim Zolciak: "I’m not at liberty to say all the personal details, but we have a lot of similarities and a very strong connection. She’s a great friend and I adore her, but it’s kind of complicated."

Msross  roadShe's coming out: Diana Ross announces North American concert tour dates.

 roadGay servicemembers have a hang-out in South Korea: "This cluster of trendy bars, with names like 'Queen' and 'Always Homme,' is a 10-minute walk from Yongsan Garrison, the U.S. military’s flagship base in South Korea. The Hill is one of the few places gay and lesbian U.S. servicemembers can be somewhat open about their sexuality while stationed in the country."

 roadAdam Lambert to release make-up line?

 roadGLAAD President Jarrett Barrios speaks out against cancellation of gay storyline on One Life to Live: “Last summer, One Life to Live brought a ground-breaking relationship into the homes of millions with Kyle and Fish’s story, one that built acceptance and understanding of gay people,. While we understand that the close of storylines is a frequent occurrence on daytime dramas, canceling this story just as it gains momentum is a step backward in ABC Daytime’s representation of the lives of gay Americans.”


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