KENYA: Supreme Court Ruling on LGBTQ+ Association ‘Undermines Country’s Deeply Rooted Cultural and Religious Values’ Religious Leaders, Legislators Protest

By Paschal Norbert

NAIROBI, SEPTEMBER 15, 2023 (CISA)- Religious leaders, legislators and interested groups have condemned the Supreme Court’s ruling to allow Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) persons the opportunity to form associations to champion their rights.

On September 12, the Supreme Court of Kenya upheld their decision on February 24, 2023, directing the NGOs Coordinating Board to register the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC) as an NGO, thereby throwing out a petition by Homabay Town member of parliament (Mp) Peter Kaluma that sought to challenge the court ruling on the registration of the LGBTQ lobby group and the definition of sex as used in the case.

In their ruling, Justices Philomena Mwilu, Mohamed Ibrahim, Smokin Wanjala, Njoki Ndungu and William Ouko said “The applicant has not demonstrated how his matter conforms to the specific parameters enumerated under Section 21A of the Supreme Court or in the Outa case; neither has he demonstrated to our satisfaction that the impugned Judgment was obtained by fraud or deceit, is a nullity, or that the court was misled into giving its judgment under a mistaken belief that the parties had consented thereto.”

“In our view, the application is a disguised appeal from this Court’s judgment and does not fall within the confines of the parameters prescribed for review by statute and applicable case law. Therefore, the application stands dismissed,” read the ruling.

Reacting to the dismissal of his application, Kaluma stated the Kenyan judicial system was the weak link in the “battle against homosexuality in Kenya,” vowing to appeal the ruling at the apex court.

“We have to return the Supreme Court and petition the court to reverse its decision, we must get the court to reaffirm the traditional definition of sex, which is male and female determined at birth,” the MP said in a media briefing on September 13.

“The court has disregarded the substance/merits of the application and proceeded on the technicality that I was not a party to earlier proceedings. It’s unfortunate that the institutions Kenyans established to protect human rights, especially the hard-won rights of women, like (@NGECKenya) have not bothered to read and understand that this bad Supreme Court collapses the women’s rights including the 2/3 gender rule! No one, No Group of people should have the right to parade or march naked before my family and children! Let’s all wake up and protect humanity from homosexuality/LGBTQ perversion!” he posted on X (formerly Twitter).

Johnston Muthama, a veteran politician and Commissioner at the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) chastised the ruling, which he says undermines the country’s deeply rooted cultural and religious values.

“It is my belief that advocating for LGBTQ+ acceptance is a foreign agenda, aimed at eroding African moral standards. This decision also has a potential impact on our children, especially through the amplification of LGBTQ+ content on social media platforms. President (William Ruto) was very clear that homosexuality is unacceptable in Kenya and I want to urge fellow patriots to unite in safeguarding our nation against such practices,” said Muthama.

The MP for Nyali, Mohamed Ali on his part rebuked the ruling by the Supreme Court, noting “that we are sadly witnessing the beginning of the erosion of Family and Moral Foundations in Kenya Society and the weakening of the moral compass and our intrinsic values as a Godly nation.”

“SECTIONS 162(a) and (c), 163 and 165 of our Penal Code criminalizes homosexuality and so do our Faith Values which we must not move away from, for we risk disintegrating our core family structures and falling deep into irredeemable mistakes that will cost us and the generations to come. I strongly condemn the Supreme Court’s ruling and will stand by the people of Kenya to protect our values, traditions, religions and Laws that will not be dictated by FOREIGN PLAYERS,” stated the vocal lawmaker and veteran journalist in a post on X.

In a strongly worded statement reacting to the ruling on September 14, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK), Ezekiel Mutua said homosexuality is not a Kenyan culture and should not be sanitized through the courts.

“As the late Dr Myles Munroe once said, ‘There’s no amount of legislation that can make an exit the entry.’ These bizarre decisions undermine the very core of our nation. Our foundation is built on the acknowledgement of God Almighty of all creation and family as the key pillar of society. Our Constitution outlaws homosexuality and in Section 11 recognizes culture as “the cumulative civilization of the Kenyan people,” Mutua said.

“Homosexuality is not our culture. Same-sex marriage is therefore against our core values, the constitution and religious beliefs and must not be sanitized through strange court decisions,” he maintained.

Religious leaders in Mombasa on Wednesday, September 13, protested against the Supreme Court’s decision that reaffirmed the LGBTQ community’s right to associate. The group led by Sheikh Mohammed Khalifa of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) said the ruling by the apex court goes against the will of God and millions of Kenyans.

In March, Catholic bishops in Kenya faulted the Supreme Court’s decision to allow the registration of the association as an NGO saying that what it promotes contradicts the basic values of the people as enshrined in the constitution.

“The aim of the LGBTQ+ association is the promotion of homosexual actions and normalizing homosexual and same-sex unions. We, therefore, note that this ruling sets the platform for activism and pressure to further recognize homosexual actions and same-sex unions as acceptable and further infiltrate our processes of formation in our institutions,” the bishops stated.