NAIROBI, Kenya (LifeSiteNews) — The Kenyan social landscape has become a battleground where traditional values clash with evolving notions of human rights and equality. The recent petition to Parliament urging an inquiry into the proliferation of LGBT issues in Kenya reflects the deep-seated concerns of certain religious leaders, organizations, and individuals.
On February 1, 2024, the Christian and Muslim petitioners asserted that the Constitution of Kenya 2010, which vests sovereign authority in the people, grants citizens the right to petition Parliament on matters within its authority. They express alarm over what they perceive as orchestrated attempts to challenge laws prohibiting homosexuality and other “unnatural acts.” The petitioners argue that such efforts not only threaten the moral fabric of Kenyan society but also question the constitutional right to equality before the law.
“The common thread through all these attempts throughout the world has been their claims that their rights and freedoms have been violated through discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. These two terminologies are alien not just to the African but to anyone with a moral fibre in their being,” lawyer Charles Kanjama said.
One of the petition’s main contentions is that recent court decisions, particularly the one in Non-Governmental Organizations Co-ordination Board v. Erick Gitari representing the LGBTQI+ movement & 5 Others, have stretched the boundaries of judicial authority by potentially paving the way for the legalization of same-sex unions in Kenya. The petitioners express the need for corrective measures to safeguard the traditional family structure.
“If this judgement is not remedied, there will be a drastic negative impact on the family in Kenya. It sets the pace for the legalization of same-sex unions in Kenya,” Kanjama stated.
The petition raises concerns about the perceived infiltration of LGBT content into the Kenyan education system. The petitioners point to specific examples in Grade 4 books, highlighting what they describe as “less than subtle depictions of gay relationships.” They argue that this constitutes an attack on future generations, urging Parliament to investigate and take action against unsanctioned publishers and distributors of such material.
Moreover, the petitioners voice apprehension over the influence of international curricula that include LGBT content. They stress the urgency of parliamentary action to ensure that Kenyan children studying these curricula are not swayed by what they perceive as an external agenda.
The petition also draws attention to foreign non-state actors allegedly lobbying for changes to Kenya’s penal laws, aiming to decriminalize acts such as homosexuality. The petitioners fear a slippery slope that the country may struggle to recover from if these efforts go unchallenged.
Lastly, the petition underscores ongoing recruitment efforts into the LGBT agenda through seemingly harmless programs on campuses and in higher learning institutions. The petitioners argue that parliamentary intervention is necessary to curb what they see as activities contributing to moral decay.
In response to these concerns, the petition calls on Parliament to inquire into various aspects, including the infiltration of LGBT content into curricula, the Ministry of Health’s position on sexual health and rights, foreign actor funding and lobbying, the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection’s plans to safeguard the family, and the enforcement of existing Penal Code provisions.
As Kenya grapples with the intersection of traditional values and evolving societal norms, Parliament faces the delicate task of balancing the protection of individual rights with the preservation of cultural and religious beliefs. The forthcoming deliberations on the petition and related bills will undoubtedly shape the nation’s trajectory on LGBTQ issues and influence the delicate equilibrium between progress and traditIon.