Provide security for gay community, KNCHR urges police ahead of ruling


Provide security for gay community, KNCHR urges police ahead of ruling
Miniature rainbow flags are offered during the UN GLOBE event celebrating for the first time on the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, May 17, 2018, at United Nations Office in Nairobi, Kenya.

In Summary

  • In the case Eric Gitari, the director of National Gay and Lesbian Rights Commission seeks to have Sections 162 and 165 of the Penal Code decriminalised.
  • The Attorney General through Lawyer Jeniffer Gitiri argued that declaring sections 162 and 165 of the penal code as unconstitutional would tantamount to allowing unnatural offences between people of the same gender.
  • South Africa and Angola have set a precedent in Africa by allowing gay sex in their countries.

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights has urged police to provide security for the Sexual Orientation Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) community as they wait for the ruling on Friday.

In a letter addressed to Nairobi County Police Commander, KNCHR wants police to enhance security within the court precincts and ensure that the there is no breach of law and order.

The Friday ruling is on a case where Eric Gitari, the director of National Gay and Lesbian Rights Commission seeks to have Sections 162 and 165 of the Penal Code decriminalised.

“The section 162 of the constitution which needs to be repealed denied SOGIE people “the rights to privacy, dignity, health, equality and non-discrimination and freedom and security of the persons,” he contends.

Section 162 reads: “Any person who   has carnal knowledge … against the order of nature; or has carnal knowledge of an animal; or permits a male to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for 14 years.”

And Section 165 has it that a man who commits any act of indecency with another man, or procures a man to commit indecency with him, or attempts to procure the commission of any such act with himself or with another male may be jailed for five years.

It is a petition that has been strongly opposed by the government including Christian and Muslim Organization who want the case dismissed.

The Attorney General through Lawyer Jeniffer Gitiri argued that declaring sections 162 and 165 of the penal code as unconstitutional would tantamount to allowing unnatural offences between people of the same gender who may have a legitimate expectation to enter into a marriage which is contrary of Article 45 of the constitution.

The three-judge bench comprising of Justices Roselyne Aburili, Chacha Mwita and John Mativo is expected the make a ruling on whether the laws will be allowed or not on Friday at 9am.

The gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya (GALCK), the National gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC) and the Nyanza Rift Valley and Western Kenya Network (NYARWEK) are also petitioners in the case.

South Africa and Angola have set a precedent in Africa by allowing gay sex in their countries.

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