Thursday, April 13, 2023

Backlash in Kenya


Kenyan LGBTQ people won the affirmation of an important constitutional right on 24th Feb 2023. The right to associate.

It is important because of the fact that we Kuchus are a minority.
We are never going to be a majority, that is simple common sense.
It is true that our detractors promise that if we are allowed to be, in any particular way, we are going to somehow spread and make the country collapse. It is nonsense, but powerful nonsense which people believe.

Because they were not allowed to register, Kenyan kuchus couldn’t do these basic 

“Without formal registration the organization’s ability to operate is compromised. It cannot enter into basic contracts such as leasing premises or open bank accounts, and its ability to raise funds is curtailed”

The freedom to associate is also important because we are faced by considerable opposition by majorities in our countries, even in Kenya.

Anti-gay or anti-kuchu groups have some bizarre but powerful arguments that resonate with our unwary country mates.
They used to say we were not real African, foreign. Our visible presence negated that argument.
They claim we are against our own cultures, discounting the historical evidence of the presence of same sex sexualities in our shared African cultures.
They claim we are immoral and against religion; and fight to stop us being welcomed at Church and mosque. Co-religionists of Catholics  and Anglicans off the continent welcome kuchus, highlighting the fact that real debate is occurring within their own religions. But, they deny that of us, their country mates.
They claim we are anti-family, and fight tooth and nail to make sure we (kuchus) cannot form recognised families.
They want us to stay criminalised, and are angry when we meet to try to repeal the criminalisation.

Anti-gay, anti-kuchu forces are a clear and present threat to the pursuit of happiness to any LGBTQ Kenyan and African on the continent. And the only way that we can contend and contest the huge propaganda is to organise, to be able to associate and actually dent the negative messaging.

Just across the border in Uganda, the Uganda Homosexual Death bill is waiting presidential accent. The organising powers behind it are the coalition of religious figures in Uganda. They provided the impetus. They energised a not-reluctant parliament, and passed the bill in record time over a marathon session. Yes, the bill seeks to have kuchus in Uganda killed. And has other draconian provisions.

Queer Kenyans won a great pass, but it is important for you not to forget that the challenges might increase just because your opponents are energised.
Congratulations. You won great breathing space. Use it, and use it well! Because, as you well know, this bill is in your parliament.

Oh, the backlash has begun, of course exarcebated by what was happening across your border.
The struggle continues



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