The Fight for LGBT Rights in Kenya
By Sarah Pray
On Sunday, November 28, at a public rally in Nairobi, Kenyan prime minister Raila Odinga was widely quoted in the press as calling for the police to arrest those found engaging in homosexuality. On November 29, after a strong civil society reaction demanding that the prime minister ensure that the human rights of all Kenyans be protected, including LGBT people, the prime minister's office issued a clarifying statement that he had been misunderstood. He was not calling for the arrest of LGBT people, claimed his office, but only wanted to make clear that the new Kenyan Constitution did not legalize same-sex marriage.
I had the opportunity to sit down with David Kuria, the director of the Open Society Foundations grantee Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya, to discuss these recent events and the general state of the fight for LGBT rights in Kenya.
Until November 2021, Sarah Pray was the director of advocacy for the Open Society Economic Justice Program.