Thursday, October 31, 2013

Kenyan LGBT Activist Visits Global Rights

In Kenya, a man who has sex with another man can face up to 14 years in prison. The Kenyan Penal Code describes such a crime as “against the order of nature,” and Kenyan society reinforces this message, with schools, churches and government officials branding Kenyan LGBT persons as outcasts and stains on Kenyan society.

Eric Gitari, an LGBT activist and lawyer, described the deplorable conditions for LGBT persons in Kenya at a recent talk at Global Rights' office in Washington:

"As someone who has a lived experience of being queer in Kenya, growing up in the rural village, and going to public schools which are funded by churches, you're taught every day that you don't belong, that you're shameful, that you're a stigma, that you're not part of the society, that something is wrong with you. And what that does to you, especially at an early age, is that it destroys your dignity, it stains you, with so many questions of your respectability, desirability and your thriving in society."

To learn more about LGBT persons in Kenya and their fight for equality, take a look at the following short video, where Mr. Gitari talks about everything from the changes in sexual norms following the British colonization of Kenya in 1895 to cases involving LGBT rights that are currently before the High Court of Kenya.

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