Kenya’s LGBTQ community wins bittersweet victory in battle for rights
Supreme court rules for freedom of association but landmark decision sparks backlash from government and churches.
The supreme court of Kenya has criticised the government for failure to register an association for LGBTQ+ people, saying the decision discriminates against the rights of the community.
Although same-sex unions remain illegal in Kenya, the court ruled that everyone has a right of association. It is the culmination of a decade-long legal battle, and a victory for the LGBTQ+ community.
In a majority decision, the court ruled that the non-governmental coordination board was discriminatory and infringed on the community’s constitutional right to association by refusing to register any of six names proposed by the community’s representatives, among them the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission and the Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Council.
The government body had said that permitting registration would contravene sections of the country’s penal code that criminalise gay and lesbian unions, including a British colonial law laying down a 14-year sentence for anyone convicted of homosexual acts.
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