December 1st, 2010
Prime Minister Raila Odinga, speaking at a political rally on Sunday, said that all gays in Kenya should be rounded up and charged with violating the nation’s anti-sodomy laws. According to the Kenyan independent newspaper Daily Nation:
Addressing a rally at Kamukunji grounds in his Langata Constituency, the PM said their behaviour was unnatural. “If found the homosexuals should be arrested and taken to relevant authorities,” Mr Odinga said.
The PM thrilled the crowd when he asserted that the recent census showed there were more women than men and there was no need for same sex relationships. He said it was madness for a man to fall in love with another man while there were plenty of women and added that there was no need for women to engage in lesbianism yet they can bear children.
Anti-gay rhetoric has been noticeably absent under President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga until now, which is why LGBT advocates describe the Prime Minister’s remarks as “out of left field”:
A board member of the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya, Nguru Karugu, said the comments could potentially drive Kenya’s gay and lesbian communities underground.
“The community will now fear and go back in,” said Karugu. “Fear to go to testing, fear to go to health clinics, fear to get services, fear to go to the police, for fear of being arrested or being harassed. It was a major blow for some pretty good work that has been going on the last few years.”
LGBT advocates say that they have already received phone calls from people who are HIV-positive who are afraid to go to their clinics to receive refills on their anti-retroviral medication.
Meanwhile the Prime Minister’s office is reportedly backing away from his comments, claiming they were taken out of context and that there is no change in government policy. Kenya’s new constitution contains a bill of rights which prohibits discrimination on any grounds, but LGBT activists fear that Odinga’s remarks will provide official sanction for anti-gay pogroms.
Those fears aren’t without foundation. Last February, anti-gay mobs went on the rampage in Mombasa following rumors of a same-sex wedding in a nearby resort town. At least a few American anti-gay extremists sought to promote violence against LGBT Kenyans by posting “Wanted” posters on the Internet. Some of those posters were printed and posted on the streets in several parts of Kenya.
Last year, Kenya announced that they would count gays in the national census as part of an important effort to gather information for guiding the country’s HIV prevention programs. AIDS activists hailed the move, but many LGBT activists were cautious. Kenya’s colonial-era anti-sodomy law provides for imprisonment for up to fourteen years upon conviction. Odinga’s remarks last Sunday would only heighten those fears.
But despite those problems, there had been grounds for optimism that the climate in Kenya was improving significantly for LGBT people. Last October, Kenya’s Special Programs Minister Esther Murugi told participants at a national symposium on HIV/AIDS in Mombasa that addressing the problem of homophobia was critical to the country’s fight against HIV. “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 audience. Those remarks generated a huge public outcry, but Murugi has remained at her post.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.