Kenyan PM: Arrest the gays

By |2018-01-15T17:32:15-05:00December 9th, 2010|News|

by Rex Wockner

International News

Kenya’s prime minister, Raila Odinga, said Nov. 28 that people who have gay or lesbian sex should be arrested, and that he wants the nation to have no gay people.
Speaking in a local language at a Nairobi rally, Odinga said: “You, young man, are you mad that you leave these girls and marry another man? Why? Is this not madness? And you girls … what is wrong with you? … Instead of looking for a man, you go looking for another woman. You cannot get children from her. You go looking for other women. Is this right? Is this right? If you get another man sodomizing another, arrest him and take him to the police. Or if a woman is found inserting a finger inside another woman, arrest her and take her to the police. … We want a clean nation, clean ways, clean ethnic groups, where there are no gays or sodomy.”
Odinga later said his remarks had been misinterpreted by the media and he agreed to meet with LGBT people, according to the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, which translated the comments from the Kiswahili language. He said the anti-gay statements actually had not been his own thoughts but rather his paraphrasing of “propaganda” that has been employed by opponents of the nation’s new constitution.
In the translation provided by IGLHRC, Odinga does summarize some of the anti-gay propaganda used by opponents of the constitution but he then seems to segue into speaking for himself in the segment of his speech quoted above.
IGLHRC Executive Director Cary Alan Johnson called Odinga’s remarks “a shame.”
“Kenya has been making great strides in terms of recognizing a broad set of human rights, in promoting a live-and-let-live attitude in both law and practice,” Johnson said. “Raila Odinga’s remarks could easily lead to a setback for human rights and a setup for violence. Interestingly, he made these distasteful remarks at a rally in Kibera, one of Kenya’s most impoverished communities. In a place where people have no clean water, lousy housing, poor sanitation and bad health, is homosexuality really the most important issue?”

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