Pride flag

Two people holding pride flags. Image: Monstera/Pixels

Supreme court ruling versus the harsh reality of queer people in Kenya

The LGBTIQ+ community in Kenya remain a target for homophobia even though the supreme court ruled in their favour last Friday.

Pride flag

Two people holding pride flags. Image: Monstera/Pixels

The communities in Kenya celebrated with LGBTIQ+ individuals when the court ruled in favour of the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC). Even as they celebrated this victory, we knew it wasn’t that simple.

The harsh reality

In Kenya, LGBTIQ+ individuals still face the harsh punishment of being imprisoned for up to 14 years. Allowing queer organisations the right to register as NGOs is a step in the right direction, but if we look at the big picture, it’s a minor step.

A large group of Kenyans doesn’t agree with this court ruling and they are currently exploring all possible avenues to ensure that the ruling is overturned. On February 28th, I woke up to a disheartening hashtag trending on Twitter.

#SayNoToLGBTIQinKenya made its way to the top of the trends list on Twitter.

The LGBTIQ+ will not be recognised in Kenya

This flood of hate was even endorsed by public figures and people with influence.

“I will not engage in a subject that is not of any major importance to the people and the Republic of Kenya,” said Former President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta on NTV Tonight

“We do not want to create a mountain out of a molehill. This is not a big issue for the people of Kenya” said President of Kenya William Ruto on NTV Tonight

The ruling does not offer protection for the LGBTIQ+

It is not surprising that religious entities are at the forefront of condemning this ruling by the Supreme Court. They have cemented themselves as a force that will always stand in the way of progress for the LGBTIQ+ community.

“Unfortunately, that is a lot of hate because when you actually see most of the messages from the MPs, they are trying to encourage violence, stigma, and discrimination,” said LGBTQ+ Activist Alvin Kimani on NTV Tonight

The people of Kenya do not acknowledge this ruling as legitimate; therefore, LGBTIQ+ community of Kenya will continue to face discrimination.