Scoop World reported that the Kenyan Supreme Court has today ruled that the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC) must be allowed to officially register as a non-governmental organisation (NGO).
In their judgment, the Supreme Court judges held that, ‘(…) it would be unconstitutional to limit the right to associate, through denial of registration of an association, purely on the basis of the sexual orientation of the applicants.’
Importantly, they also ruled, ‘Given that the right to freedom of association is a human right, vital to the functioning of any democratic society as well as an essential prerequisite enjoyment of other fundamental rights and freedoms, we hold that this right is inherent in everyone irrespective of whether the views they are seeking to promote are popular or not.’
The Supreme Court is the apex court in Kenya meaning that the ruling is final, concluding a legal case lasting ten years.
In 2013, Eric Gitari, the former Executive Director of NGLHRC, challenged the Executive Director of the Kenya NGO Coordination Board’s refusal to permit him to apply for registration of an NGO under a name containing the words ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian’. The judges ruled in his favour at the High Court in 2015 and again at the Court of Appeal in 2019.
Without exception, in all three Courts, the judges found that the refusal, which was on the purported basis that homosexuality is criminalised in the east African country, was unconstitutional, and directly in violation of the guarantee of freedom of association, irrespective of sexual orientation.
Téa Braun, Chief Executive of the Human Dignity Trust, says, ‘Today the tenacity of Eric Gitari, NGLHRC and all LGBT Kenyans wishing to exercise their constitutionally protected right to freely meet and organise has been rewarded with this unequivocal ruling from the Supreme Court.’
‘Throughout this process, three courts have rightly confirmed that organisations that seek to safeguard respect for human rights should be allowed to do so with the full protection of the law, and this includes organisations working in support of LGBT people even where draconian laws criminalising same-sex intimacy still exist. The Human Dignity Trust wholeheartedly applauds their judgments.’
Njeri Gateru, Executive Director of NGLHRC, says, ‘The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the lower courts’ rulings is a triumph for justice and human rights. At a time where the Kenyan LGBTIQ+ community is decrying the increased targeting and violence; this decision affirms the spirit and intention of the Constitution to protect all Kenyans and guarantee their rights.’
Sections 162(a) and (c), 163 and 165 of the Kenyan Penal Code, which were introduced into the lawbooks by British colonisers over 100 years ago, establish a series of criminal offences, one of which, having ‘carnal knowledge against the order of nature’, is punishable by up to 14 years in prison. These laws foster and enable public targeting of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people for violence and discrimination.
In 2014, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights passed Resolution 275, urging all African Union member states to create favourable conditions for human rights defenders working on LGBT issues, such as NGLHRC in Kenya, and to help prevent the high levels of violence and discrimination such people experience. Regrettably, many other African countries, including Uganda and Nigeria, have also erected obstacles to the registration of LGBT organisations due to discriminatory penal codes and other oppressive laws and practices.
This is tragic for African especially Kenyan Conservatives as there is going to be an avalanche of LGBTQ NGOs in the East African Country famous for its tourism. The liberals never rest as they are worse than the Biblical roaring lions seeking whom to devour.
Having lost their legalization bid in the parliament, they are now using the courts and have gotten the highest court in the country – the Supreme Court to do its obnoxious bidding.
Much as I abhor the law, it sadly has to be respected as there is no appealing of the Supreme Court Judgement. This is the time for Kenyan Conservatives to sensitize their countrymen and women through the media as that is the only potent tool for mass mobilization against the insidious cause.
Millions of foreign dollars is sure to pour in from liberal western countries to fund all manner of LGBTQ causes and so eternal vigilance is the watch word!
Many pro-lifers including the First Lady who is also the education minister have raised alarm on the infiltration of the school curriculum with all manner of pro-LGBTQ literature. More lawsuits may follow as the liberals would be greatly emboldened by the recent Supreme Court Judgement. There is the need to reiterate once again for the effective use of the media to win this battle via the court of public opinion.
Kenyan Conservatives owe it a responsibility to Africa to save her next generation of youths from the evil clutches of the LGBTQ movement that is worse than the Shakesperean Midnight’s Summer Dream.
Chief Editorial Curator