Kenyan president says he will not allow gay marriage
Nairobi, Mar 3 (EFE) .- Kenyan President William Ruto said he would not allow same-sex marriage because it goes against his country’s culture and traditions, local media reported Friday.
Ruto spoke in reaction to the ruling issued on Feb. 24 by the country’s supreme court, which dismissed an appeal by the Kenyan government seeking to prohibit the legal registration of an organization for the rights of LGBT+ people.
“I am a God-fearing man. Although we respect the court, our religion, traditions, laws and customs do not allow women to marry women, nor men to marry men,” the president said during an act in Nairobi celebrating International Women’s Day.
“Don’t worry. It will happen elsewhere, it will not happen in Kenya. We know that there are many people spreading this idea, our children at the university are being pressured by these dirty teachings,” the head of state said.
Ruto called on “all the religious leaders of the country to stand firm and educate our children and Kenyans so that we do not lose our customs, Christian and Islamic religious beliefs to platforms that preach foreign concepts.”
Opposition leader and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga made a similar statement Thursday at another event in Nairobi.
“Article 45 (2) of our Constitution establishes that every adult has the right to marry a person of the opposite sex on the basis of the free consent of the parties and that is the law,” Odinga said, alleging that the judiciary exceeded its mandate by allowing the registration of LGBT+ groups.
“It is not the function of the judiciary to make laws. If there is a loophole, it goes to parliament to amend the laws,” the opposition leader settled before the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya in the Kenyan capital.
While the Kenyan Constitution only provides for marriage between members of the opposite sex, the penal code punishes sex “against the order of nature” with up to 14 years in prison.
Of the nearly 70 countries that criminalize same-sex relations in the world, 33 are in Africa, where most laws of this type are inherited from the colonial period. EFE