Kenyan LGBTQ+ Activists Stage Protest in London Against Family Protection Bill

March 19, 2024

Kenyan gay rights activists staged protests in the UK to voice their objection to the Family Protection Bill 2023.

A faction of Kenyan activists supporting gay rights, alongside others from Uganda, Ghana, Pakistan, and Tanzania, participated in street protests in the city of London.

They said that the Family Protection Bill 2023 proposed by Homa Bay Town Member of Parliament, Peter Kaluma, is discriminatory. According to the activists, aside from the persecutory attitude among Kenyans towards them, the Bill will exacerbate the situation if it passes through parliament.

Seth Ouma, a Kenyan LGBTQ+ rights activist, observed that Kenya could follow Uganda and Ghana in enacting discriminatory anti-homosexuality legislation.

Ouma fears that if the Bill is brought for debate, MPs will overwhelmingly support it, disregarding potential violations of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010, and other universal rights and freedoms.

The persecutory attitude of Kenyans is rife with livid homophobia, and this fans parliament’s push for the harsher laws,” the activist said.

Ouma was among hundreds of gay rights activists who attended the 75th Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in London, UK on March 11, 2024. They protested against what they described as the ongoing criminalization of homosexuality in 30 out of the 56 Commonwealth countries.

Kaluma’s Family Protection Bill

The Kaluma Bill is currently under review by the National Assembly’s Justice and Constitutional Affairs Committee.

Following the February 2023 Supreme Court ruling that approved the registration of the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission by the NGOs Coordination Board, MPs, particularly the opposition, unanimously condemned the court. They called for the judges to revoke the decision or resign.

On February 29, 2024, a gay couple was assaulted by angry locals at a Naivasha restaurant. Florence Jeptoo, another Kenyan at the London event, described the incident as regrettable and unacceptable.

“It surprised everyone that no police enforcement action materialised during this incident, which we condemn in the strongest terms possible,” she said.

The protest in London garnered the attention of other Londoners, who joined in the chants as dignitaries from various countries arrived for the Commonwealth function.

Chanting pro-LGBTQ+ slogans and calling out the countries responsible, including Kenya, attending Kenyans expressed their disappointment at the ongoing discrimination and persecution of the country’s LGBTQ+ community. The said the situation exarcebated after the High Court in May 2019 refused to repeal sections of the penal code that criminalize homosexuality.

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