President William Ruto of Kenya slammed a recent Supreme Court ruling allowing an activist to register an LGBTQ rights organization, reiterating on Thursday that the country’s stance on same-sex marriage remained unchanged.
The national body that oversees non-governmental organizations had denied the activist’s registration request. Kenya’s High Court and Court of Appeal said the council acted improperly, and the Supreme Court agreed on 24 February, dismissing the council’s further appeal.
Ruto said the government respects the Supreme Court’s 3-2 decision, but that “our culture and religion do not allow same-sex marriages.”
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“It is not possible for our country, Kenya, to allow same-sex marriage… It will happen in other countries, but not in Kenya,” he added.
The majority of the Supreme Court noted in its decision that same-sex marriages are illegal in Kenya.
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Kenya’s penal code also criminalizes same-sex intimate relationships. Efforts by activists to get the court to repeal the colonial-era law were unsuccessful.
An anti-LGBTQ group in the coastal city of Mombasa this week protested the Supreme Court’s decision to license an NGO focused on LGBTQ rights.
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Kenya is largely a conservative and religious country. Ruto on Thursday encouraged religious leaders to step up education to promote what he called traditional values.