Members of the LGBT community in Kenya on Thursday took to the streets of Nairobi to condemn the government for barring gay students from attending boarding schools.
Last month, Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha said queer learners should be restricted to day schools closer to their homes.
“Right now, there are contemporary cases of children who are homosexual and lesbians, they must go to day schools close to their homes. Your responsibility should be for the greater majority and not a few individuals. Do not allow yourself to be intimidated by children,” CS Magoha said.
On Thursday, the queer community staged a peaceful protest that saw them march to the offices of the Ministry of Education.
“Today we’re here to say we will no longer be silenced…That children are going to be safe. We will do whatever it takes, if we must die, we will die so that the next generation can stay alive.
“But we will no longer stay in a system that oppresses us. We will no longer stay in a system that takes advantage of queer people. We will no longer stay in a system that a cabinet secretary can come up with a directive that sexualises children.
“School-going children are below 18 years old. They are supposed to be in school and protected and most importantly, they are not supposed to be sexualised,” said Marylize Biubwa, who organized the protest.
The protesters marched from Jeevanjee gardens through Moi Avenue to the Education Ministry on Harambee Avenue where they handed over a petition to the CS.
“Our march today was to remind the leaders that they should be protecting all children who have a right to education anywhere they want regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. Children of the Republic of Kenya have a right and they shall not be discriminated by the same government that should be protecting them.
“We had a peaceful, frustrating but successful march and we managed to give out our petition. We await a response from the office,” said former BBC journalist Makena Njeri.
Some photos from the protest.