Kenya's High Court Argues Upholding Criminalization Of Gay Sex Does Not Violate Basic Rights

Activists say they will continue to make their case for equality.

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| May 24 2019,

9:26 pm

A law punishing same sex relationships with up to 14 years in prison was allowed to stay in place after a ruling by Kenya’s High Court. The law has been in place since the British colonized Kenya in the 19th century and criminalizes "carnal knowledge against the order of nature.

In their ruling, the court stated that the laws in question did not target the LGBTQ community and they were not convinced that people’s basic rights were being violated, according to KUTV.


The ruling was a shock to those fighting the case, who when the ruling was given were preparing for a victory and an appeal in a higher court.

"We are prepared for it to be a protracted struggle. We are well aware that the court process is very long and we are well aware that this is a heavily contested issue," Waruguru Gaitho, a human rights lawyer at the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC), said before the ruling. “Allows multiple appeals.”


“So we will continue to make our case for equality."

Some religious leaders were happy with the ruling. Alfred Rotich, a Catholic bishop in the country told Reuters he was celebrating this ruling by the High Court because Kenya “cannot be another Sodom and Gomorrah.”

Activists who were hoping the law would be overturned are disappointed in the decision by the High Court. Nonetheless, they plan to continue an appeal to move the country closer to equal rights for the LGBTQ community.