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Kenya Gov’t Minister Urges Gay Acceptance

Jim Burroway

October 1st, 2010
Kenya's Special Programs Minister Esther Murugi

Kenya's Special Programs Minister Esther Murugi at an HIV/AIDS conference in Mombasa

A Kenyan Cabinet minister suggested that the government should address the wider concerns of the country’s gay community if it is to make headway in its fight against HIV/AIDS. Special Programs Minister Esther Murugi told participants at a national symposium on HIV/AIDS in Mombasa:

“We need to learn to live with men who have sex with other men… we are in the 21st century and things have changed,” she told the gathering on Thursday.

According to the Daily Nation, one of Kenya’s principal independent newspapers, religious leaders expressed outrage over Minister Murugi’s remarks. Sheik Mohammad Khalifa of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya denounced her remarks as “satanic and contrary to African culture.” The Kenyan National Muslim Advisory Council demanded that Murugi resign or be fired.

Muslims make up only about 10% of Kenya’s population overall, but the North Eastern Province is predominantly Muslim, and the Coast Province has a very large Muslim population. Mombasa is the Coast Province’s capital city, and was the scene of Muslim-led anti-gay vigilantism last February.

Homosexual behavior between men is criminalized in Kenya, with a penalty of up to fourteen years’ imprisonment. Lesbian relationships are not prohibited.

On Wednesday, Malawi’s Vice President Joyce Banda urged a gathering of religious leaders in the commercial capital of Blantyre to address the needs of LGBT people in that nation’s fight against HIV/AIDS.



Emily K
October 1st, 2010 | LINK

Lesbian relationships are not prohibited.

You mean the type of sex that dominant male heteros DON’T find “icky” is free and legal? Surprise, surprise.

October 1st, 2010 | LINK

Wonderful woman.

Unfortunately, she won’t last long.

Timothy Kincaid
October 1st, 2010 | LINK

I wonder if it is a good sign that the only religious affiliation to speak out against tolerance (so far) are the Muslims.

It may be that the Christians are as intolerant, but I’m drawing some hope from their lack of public response.

Regan DuCasse
October 1st, 2010 | LINK

There are so many conflicts all over the continent of Africa…especially in Somalia and other places in Sub Saharan or horn of Africa nations.
And women’s advocate groups are working hard to place the rapes of women by rebel factions AND military personnel in the forefront.

Rape has also substantially risen in Haiti since the devastating earthquake. Where tent communities offer little security for females who are forced to live out in the open.

Men who have sex with men don’t appear to be the ones contributing to, nor perpetrating this outrage.

Yet, are the ones whose consenting, even committed relationships are actionable by criminal prosecution and incarceration, if not capital punishment.

Is it just me, or is this exceptionally warped?

Hussein Abbas
October 1st, 2010 | LINK

Am just surprise a Minister and a Lady can speak like that . Is she really educated and knows whats the meaning of Gay?.

I think when an MP is elected he/she suppose to look after their Const . help their people who elected and bring development in their area .

So she should read again her statement.

Regan DuCasse
October 2nd, 2010 | LINK

Gay people are her constituents too. They are citizens all over the world. They work and pay taxes and break no laws that hurt anyone else.

Gay people are a part of the human race. Always have been.

This MP is telling you to remember that.

Emily K
October 3rd, 2010 | LINK

And Hussein abbas, what do YOU think is the meaning of “Gay?”

Because I can tell you what it ACTUALLY is. It is a person being attracted to another person of the same sex.

Timothy Kincaid
October 4th, 2010 | LINK

Ya know that hope I was drawing… A bit early, as it turns out.

“…followed by demands from a coalition of 74 Evangelical Christian churches that Murugi be fired.”

Mark F.
October 4th, 2010 | LINK

“…followed by demands from a coalition of 74 Evangelical Christian churches that Murugi be fired.”

Fooled you once, shame on them. Fooled you twice…

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