Gay? No Home in Africa!
Seemingly, gays and lesbians have no place on the African soil. Recently, the police disrupted the first ever planned gay wedding in the Muslim-dominated Mtwapa town in Coast province in Kenya. This happened following an angry protest from the Muslim and the Christian community in the area, in what they dubbed as 'operation gay out', terming it immoral and unacceptable.
Under the Kenyan marriage laws, a marriage is defined as a union between two parties of opposite sex. This means that only heterosexual relationships are legal and so homosexuals are 'criminals'. The harmonized draft constitution carried a clause that said that every Kenyan adult had a right to have a family. However, this clause was scrapped off by the Parliamentary select committee on constitution review after debate ensued that the clause might as well be seeking to legalize homosexual unions. The proposed marriage bill 2007 was also criticized by many because the bill did not give any way forward to homosexuality.
So as far as Kenya is concerned, it is a criminal offense to practice to practice homosexuality and if found, one is can be put behind bars for not less than 14 years according to the country's penal code. When two Kenyan males, Mr. Charles Ngengi (40) and Daniel Chege (39), tied a knot last year in the UK under the country's Civil Partnership Act, it elicited hot public debate, with some terming the couple crazy. This raises some of the mysteries surrounding same-sex relationships not only in Kenya but Africa as a whole.
In Uganda for instance,a bill proposing a death penalty for all gay brothers have been put before parliament awaiting debate. All eyes are now on the parliamentarians to debate and come up with the best vote on this controversial bill. But if only Africans could learn to accommodate the rights of others and to appreciate diversity in humankind...