United States ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman now says she recognizes efforts to protect the members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and Queer (LGBTQI+) community in the country.
Through her Twitter account on Tuesday evening, Meg said she and her team have engaged the members of the marginalised group in Kenya and vowed to continue fighting for the group's human rights.
"Over the past week, my team and I met with the LGBTQI+ community & stakeholders to support the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons. The U.S. proudly advances efforts to protect LGBTQI+ persons from discrimination & violence and will continue to stand up for human rights & equality," she tweeted.
Over the past week my team and I met with the LGBTQI+ community & stakeholders to support human rights of LGBTQI+ persons. The U.S. proudly advances efforts to protect LGBTQI+ persons from discrimination & violence and will continue to stand up for human rights & equality.— U.S. Ambassador Meg Whitman (@USAmbKenya) March 14, 2023
This comes amid ongoing debate following the February 24th ruling by the Supreme Court that allowed LGBTQI+ to formally register their own association.
The apex court, in a majority judgment, upheld the decision of the High Court and the Court of Appeal which found the NGO Coordination Board violated the right to freedom of association by denying the registration of an NGO that championed the rights of the LGBTQ community.
Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu and Supreme court judges; Njoki Ndung’u and Smokin Wanjala who were the majority, held that the Board violated the Gitari’s right to freedom of association under Article 36 of the Constitution.
“NGO Coordination Board’s decision was discriminatory… it would be unconstitutional to limit the right to associate, through denial of registration of an association, purely on the basis of the sexual orientation of the applicants,” the judges ruled.
The judges noted that by refusing to register the NGO, the persons were convicted before they contravened the law which criminalizes gay sex.
Supreme Court Judges; William Ouko and Mohammed Ibrahim who dissented said the board did not violate any rights as freedom of Association is not absolute and may be subject to limitation.
Political leaders including President William Ruto and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua opposed the ruling saying they do not advocate for same-sex marriage in the country however they respect the court's decision.
On the other hand, religious leaders condemned the ruling with the majority saying it contradicts our religious beliefs and African practices.