Anti-gay laws: After Uganda, Kenya could be next

2014-03-06 13:07
(Ben Curtis, AP)

(Ben Curtis, AP)

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Cape Town - Kenya could be gearing up for a debate on gay rights as lawmakers are reportedly planning to introduce a motion in parliament to compel authorities to enforce the country’s anti-homosexual laws.

According to Voice of America, gay rights activists say the pressure has already increased since neighbouring Uganda passed a strict anti-gay law last month.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed a draconian anti-gay law that imposes a life sentence for certain violations and makes it a crime not to report anyone who breaks the law.

Existing laws in Kenya make consensual homosexual acts punishable by up to 14 years in prison.  No one has been convicted in the country yet, but activists say there are at least eight pending court cases, the report said.

In an open move, one of the lawmakers, Irungu Kang'ata, is quoted as saying that Kenya already has anti-gay laws and what is left is "enforcement" of those laws.

Kang'ata seemed to be advocating for harsher penalties in Kenya if parliament determined the current laws were insufficient, said the report.

But activists said the crackdown would be a harmful distraction from the country's political problems and a major violation of privacy.

Read more on:    yoweri museveni  |  kenya  |  uganda  |  east africa  |  gay rights

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