KENYA: Bishops Call for Constitutional Amendment to Resolve Supreme Court Ruling on LGBTQ+ Association


By Arnold Neliba

NAIROBI, APRIL 20, 2023 (CISA)-The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) has called for a constitutional amendment to strengthen Kenya’s cultural and religious values on marriage and family following a highly contested ruling by the Supreme Court on LGBTQ association on February 24, 2023.

“This ruling was based on an erroneous interpretation of the clauses on the freedom of association (Art. 36,1) but affects the sacred values of marriage and family as enshrined (in) the constitution,” reads an April 20 statement by the bishops.

The ruling by the apex court, which has been challenged by the bishops and a section of religious institutions, allowed persons who identify as LGBTQ the right to form and register associations to push for their interests despite homosexuality being illegal in Kenya.

“We make reference to the Constitution of Kenya, Article 45 which clearly states that “the family is the natural and fundamental unit of society and the necessary basis of social order, and shall enjoy the recognition and protection of the State”. We, therefore, remind the Government of its constitutional responsibility and moral obligation to safeguard and protect the family against the LGBTQ+ ideology and other threats. As a nation, we have a moral obligation to safeguard young people from such erroneous ideas about sexuality and marriage. It is for this reason that we remind all Kenyans that the Penal Code 1930 criminalizes same-sex acts as ‘gross indecency’ and ‘carnal knowledge against the order of nature’. This should be upheld by our judiciary in defence of life and the family,” the bishops appealed on March 10.

The bishops had noted and warned that the ruling sets a platform for activism to pile pressure to further recognize homosexual actions and same-sex unions as acceptable, and such precedence would infiltrate the processes of formation of children in schools.

“We, therefore, state that this ideology is an attempt to undermine the family and cultural values which are rooted in the very nature of humankind. It also undermines the dignity of life which is at the core of our beliefs as a nation. This ideology is an attack on our faith systems,” the prelates stressed.