Kenyan MPs call for stricter anti-gay laws

Activist says politicians using homosexuality as trump card

A senior Kenyan parliamentarian says that while homosexuality is “as serious as terrorism,” the country’s existing laws are adequate and there are no plans to introduce tougher measures, Reuters reports.

The ruling Jubilee coalition’s Aden Duale claimed that hundreds of cases have been investigated since 2010 in response to calls from fellow MPs to “outlaw gayism and lesbianism, the way Uganda has done,” the report says.

Duale told Reuters that Kenya does not “need to go the Uganda way,” adding that that debate is “finished.”

Still, human rights activists say they intend to remain vigilant to ensure that anti-gay legislation similar to what is now on the books in Uganda is not implemented in Kenya, Gay Star News reports.

In quick succession, both Uganda and Nigeria enacted anti-gay laws that further criminalize homosexuality. Not long after, the World Bank and a number of countries announced they were reviewing financial assistance to Uganda.

The United States is also planning to implement measures — including redirecting or suspending aid and programs and cancelling or putting travel for Ugandan military and police personnel on hold — following President Yoweri Museveni’s decision to assent to the Anti-Homosexuality Act.

Orange, a French telecommunications company, has also said it is not renewing its advertising contract with Ugandan newspaper Red Pepper, which is infamous for outing gay people.

Natasha Barsotti is originally from Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean. She had high aspirations of representing her country in Olympic Games sprint events, but after a while the firing of the starting gun proved too much for her nerves. So she went off to university instead. Her first professional love has always been journalism. After pursuing a Master of Journalism at UBC , she began freelancing at Xtra West — now Xtra Vancouver — in 2006, becoming a full-time reporter there in 2008.

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