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LAW, RELIGION, AND THE POLITICIZATION OF SEXUAL CITIZENSHIP IN KENYA

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 April 2021

Damaris Seleina Parsitau*
Affiliation:
Associate Professor of Religion and Gender Studies, Egerton University, Kenya

Abstract

In Kenya, debates about sexual orientation have assumed center stage at several points in recent years, but particularly before and after the promulgation of the Constitution of Kenya in 2010. These debates have been fueled by religious clergy and by politicians who want to align themselves with religious organizations for respectability and legitimation, particularly by seeking to influence the nation's legal norms around sexuality. I argue that through their responses and attempts to influence legal norms, the religious and political leaders are not only responsible for the nonacceptance of same-sex relationships in Africa, but have also ensured that sexuality and embodiment have become a cultural and religious battleground. These same clergy and politicians seek to frame homosexuality as un-African, unacceptable, a threat to African moral and cultural sensibilities and sensitivities, and an affront to African moral and family values. Consequently, the perception is that homosexuals do not belong in Africa—that they cannot be entertained, accommodated, tolerated, or even understood. Ultimately, I argue that the politicization and religionization of same-sex relationships in Kenya, as elsewhere in Africa, has masked human rights debates and stifled serious academic and pragmatic engagements with important issues around sexual difference and sexual orientation while fueling negative attitudes toward people with different sexual orientations.

Type
Article Symposium
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University

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References

1 Norimitsu Onishi, “Obama Kenya Trip Sets off Gay Rights Debate in Africa,” New York Times, July 21, 2015, https://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/22/world/africa/africans-to-welcome-obama-but-not-a-scolding-on-gay-rights.html. See also Morgan Winsor, “Obama Kenya Visit 2015: Africa Gay Rights Debate Heats up ahead of President's Trip,” International Business Times, July 23, 2015, https://www.ibtimes.com/obama-kenya-visit-2015-africa-gay-rights-debate-heats-ahead-presidents-trip-2020081.

2 Adriaan van Klinken, “Gay Prayer in Uhuru Park, or Christianity and LGBT Empowerment in Kenya,” Sightings, February 4, 2016, https://divinity.uchicago.edu/sightings/gay-prayer-uhuru-park-or-christianity-and-lgbt-empowerment-kenya.

3 David Smith, “Barack Obama Tells African States to Abandon Anti-gay Discrimination,” Guardian, July 25, 2015, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jul/25/barack-obama-african-states-abandon-anti-gay-discrimination

4 Van Klinken, “Gay Prayer in Uhuru Park.”

5 Van Klinken.

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9 Oscar Obonyo, “Presidents Barack Obama and Uhuru Kenyatta Differ over Gay Rights,” Standard Digital, July 26, 2015, https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/kenya/article/2000170428/obama-and-uhuru-differ-over-gay-rights; see also Barack Obama and Uhuru Kenyatta, Remarks in a Press Conference, July 25, 2015.

10 Watch, Human Rights, Together Apart: Organizing around Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Worldwide (New York: Human Rights Watch, 2009), 11Google Scholar, https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/lgbt0509web.pdf.

11 Most Mainline Churches in Kenya, including the Anglican Church of Kenya, Catholics, Seventh Day Adventists, Methodists and the Presbyterian churches, are opposed to homosexuality, citing religion and culture. The Anglican Church in Kenya has also recently had to turn to the law to settle its own disputes over homosexuality. See Paul O'Donnell, “Kenyan Court Orders Mediation to Solve Anglican Homosexuality Dispute,” Religion News Service, November 6, 2018, https://religionnews.com/2018/11/06/kenyan-court-orders-mediation-to-solve-anglican-homosexuality-dispute/.

12 Parsitau, Damaris Seleina and van Klinken, Adriaan, “Pentecostal Intimacies: Women and Intimate Citizenship in the Ministry of Repentance and Holiness in Kenya,” Citizenship Studies 22, no. 6 (2018): 586–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

13 Parsitau and Van Klinken, “Pentecostal Intimacies.”

14 See van Klinken, Adriaan and Chitando, Ezra, “Introduction: Public Religion, Homophobia, and the Politics of Homosexuality in Africa,” in Public Religion and the Politics of Homosexuality in Africa, ed. van Klinken, Adriaan and Chitando, Ezra (London: Routledge, 2016), 116CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 9–10.

15 Gifford, Paul, ed., Christianity, Politics and Public Life in Kenya (New York: Columbia University Press, 2009), 193Google Scholar.

16 See Parsitau and van Klinken, “Pentecostal Intimacies”; Gregory Deacon, “Driving the Devil Out: Kenya's Born-Again Election,” Journal of Religion in Africa 45, no. 2 (2015): 200–20; Deacon, Gregory, “Kenya: A Nation Born Again,” PentecoStudies 14, no. 2 (2015): 219–40Google Scholar; Deacon, Gregory and Lynch, Gabrielle, “Allowing Satan In? Moving toward a Political Economy of Neo-Pentecostalism in Kenya,” Journal of Religion in Africa 43, no. 2 (2013): 108307CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Deacon, Gregory and Parsitau, Damaris Seleina, “Empowered to Submit: Pentecostal Women in Nairobi,” Journal of Religion and Society 19 (2017): 117Google Scholar.

17 Van Klinken and Chitando, “Introduction,” 9.

18 See, generally, the contributions in van Klinken and Chitando, Public Religion and the Politics of Homosexuality in Africa.

19 Damaris Seleina Parsitau, “‘From the Periphery to the Centre’: The Pentecostalization of Mainline Christianity in Kenya,” Missionalia: Southern African Journal of Missiology 35, no. 3 (2007): 83–111. See Damaris Seleina Parsitau, “From the Fringes to the Centre: Pentecostal Christianity in the Public Sphere in Kenya (1970–2009),” in Jesus and Ubuntu: Exploring the Social Impact of Christianity in Africa, ed. Mwenda Ntarangwi (Trenton: Africa World Press, 2011), 123–45. See also Damaris Seleina Parsitau, “Soft Tongue, Powerful Voice, Huge Influence: The Dynamics of Gender, Soft Power, and Political Influence in Faith Evangelistic Ministries in Kenya,” in Pentecostalism and Politics in Africa, ed. Adeshina Afolayan (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), 159–80.

20 Van Klinken and Chitando, “Introduction,” 1. See also Adriaan van Klinken, “Beyond African Religious Homophobia: How Christianity is a Source of African LGBT Activism,” London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Religion and Global Society (blog) July 20, 2018, https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/religionglobalsociety/2018/07/beyond-african-religious-homophobia-how-christianity-is-a-source-of-african-lgbt-activism/; David Mbote et al., “Kenyan Religious Leaders’ Views on Same-Sex Sexuality and Gender Nonconformity: Religious Freedom versus Constitutional Rights,” Journal of Sex Research 55, no. 4–5 (2018): 630–41.

21 Van Klinken, “Beyond African Religious Homophobia.”

22 Van Klinken, “Beyond African Religious Homophobia.”

23 Laban Wanambisi, “Catholic Bishops, Pro-choice Lobbyists Clash over Reproductive Health Law,” Capital News, July 5, 2020, https://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/2020/07/catholic-bishops-pro-choice-lobbyists-clash-over-reproductive-health-law/.

24 DPPS, “Ruto Says No Apologies for Giving to Churches,” Capital News, September 11, 2020, https://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/2020/09/ruto-says-no-apologies-for-giving-to-churches/.

25 “Kenya's William Ruto Says There's ‘No Room’ for Gays in His Nation,” NBC News, May 4, 2015, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/kenyas-william-ruto-says-theres-no-room-gays-his-nation-n353161.

26 Philip Jenkins, “Kenya Rising,” Christian Century, April 8, 2020: 44–45. A version of Jenkins's article appears in the online edition of Christian Century under the title, “Christianity's Explosive Growth in Kenya,” Christian Century, April 3, 2020, https://www.christiancentury.org/article/notes-global-church/christianity-s-explosive-growth-kenya.

27 Asonzeh Ukah, “Sexual Bodies, Sacred Vessels: Pentecostal Discourses on Homosexuality in Nigeria,” in Christianity and Controversies over Homosexuality in Contemporary Africa, ed. Ezra Chitando and Adriaan van Klinken (London: Routledge, 2016), 21–37.

28 Moses Njagih, “Clergy, MPs Uproar over Global Population Forum Set for City,” The Standard, November 9, 2019, https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/politics/article/2001348649/clergy-mps-uproar-over-global-population-forum-set-for-city.

29 Deacon, “Kenya: A Nation Born Again”; Deacon and Lynch, “Allowing Satan In?”

30 Parsitau, “Soft Tongue, Powerful Voice, Huge Influence.”

31 Ukah, “Sexual Bodies, Sacred Vessels,” 22, citing Amos Yong, In the Days of Caesar: Pentecostalism and Political Theology (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 2010), 11–14.

32 Parsitau and van Klinken, “Pentecostal Intimacies,” 589–90.

33 “Ezekiel Mutua: The Man Who Polices Kenyan Pop Music,” BBC News, August 30, 2019, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-46371971.

34 See Seth Muchuma Wekesa, “A Constitutional Approach to the Decriminalisation of Homosexuality in Africa: A Comparison of Kenya, South Africa and Uganda” (PhD diss., University of Pretoria, 2016), 2, http://hdl.handle.net/2263/56992. On controversies in Nigeria, see two articles in this symposium: Asonzeh Ukah, “Apocalyptic Homophobia: Freedom of Religious Expression, Hate Speech, and the Pentecostal Discourse on Same-Sex Relations in Africa,” Journal of Law and Religion 36, no. 1 (2021); Habibat Oladosu-Uthman, “‘This Man Is My Wife’: The Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act of 2014 in Nigeria,” Journal of Law and Religion 36, no. 1 (2021).

35 See van Klinken, “Gay Prayer in Uhuru Park”; Patrick Awondo, Peter Geschiere, and Graeme Reid, “Homophobic Africa? Toward a More Nuanced View,” African Studies Review 55, no. 3 (2012): 145–68.

36 Adriaan van Klinken, “Christianity and Same-Sex Relationships in Africa,” in The Routledge Companion to Christianity in Africa, ed. Elias Kifon Bongmba (New York: Routledge, 2016), 487–501.

37 Stephen O. Murray and Will Roscoe, eds., Boy-Wives and Female Husbands: Studies of African Homosexualities (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998), 243–47.

38 See Staff of the Global Legal Research Directorate, Laws on Homosexuality in African Nations (Washington, DC: Law Library of Congress, 2014).

39 See, for example, Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2014, which was originally proposed in 2009, when it received international notoriety as the “Kill the Gays Bill.” The long title of the 2014 bill is “An Act to prohibit any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex; prohibit the promotion or recognition of such relations and to provide for other related matters.” Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2014, accessed February 5, 2021, https://www.refworld.org/pdfid/530c4bc64.pdf.

40 Former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan signed into law the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act on January 13, 2014. Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, 2014, accessed February 5, 2021, https://laws.lawnigeria.com/2020/01/10/same-sex-marriage-prohibition-act-2014/.

41 “Malawi Gay Couple Gets Maximum Sentence of 14 Years,” BBC News, May 20, 2010, https://www.bbc.com/news/10130240.

42 “Kenya Chiefs Block Mombasa ‘Gay Wedding,’” BBC News, February 11, 2010, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8511321.stm.

43 Faith Karimi and Nick Thompson, “Uganda's President Museveni Signs Controversial Anti-Gay Bill into Law,” CNN, February 25, 2014, https://www.cnn.com/2014/02/24/world/africa/uganda-anti-gay-bill/index.html.

44 See Eric Mawira Gitari, “The Gay Debate: Decriminalising Homosexuality in Kenya,” The Elephant (blog), February 28, 2019, https://www.theelephant.info/features/2019/02/28/the-gay-debate-decriminalising-homosexuality-in-kenya/.

45 Max Bearak and Darla Cameron, “Here Are the 10 Countries Where Homosexuality May Be Punished by Death,” Washington Post, June 16, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/06/13/here-are-the-10-countries-where-homosexuality-may-be-punished-by-death-2/.

46 See Jason Burke, “Hundreds in Hiding as Tanzania Launches Anti-Gay Crackdown,” The Guardian, November 5, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/05/tanzania-gay-people-in-hiding-lgbt-activists-crackdown; Jason Burke and Samuel Okiror, “Ugandan MPs Press for Death Penalty for Homosexual Acts,” The Guardian, October 15, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/15/ugandan-mps-press-for-death-penalty-for-homosexual-acts; John Harrington, “The Most Difficult Places in the World to Be Gay,” 24/7 Wall Street, June 2, 2020, https://247wallst.com/special-report/2020/06/02/the-most-difficult-places-in-the-world-to-be-gay/.

47 Associated Press, “Nigeria Passes Law Banning Homosexuality,” The Telegraph, January 14, 2014, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/nigeria/10570304/Nigeria-passes-law-banning-homosexuality.html.

48 See Human Rights Watch, “We'll Show You You're a Woman”: Violence and Discrimination against Transgender Men in South Africa (New York: Human Rights Watch, 2011).

49 Jacob Poushter and Nicholas O. Kent, “The Global Divide on Homosexuality Persists,” June 25, 2020, especially the data at 6, 7, 26, https://www.pewresearch.org/global/2020/06/25/global-divide-on-homosexuality-persists/.

50 “Amnesty International Condemns ‘Homophobia’ in Africa,” BBC News, June 25, 2013, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-23033423.

51 “Uganda: Brutal Killing of Gay Activist,” Human Rights Watch, October 15, 2019, https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/10/15/uganda-brutal-killing-gay-activist.

52 Cyuzuzo Samba, “Gay Refugees Sent Back to ‘Homophobic Kenya Camp’,” BBC News, December 20, 2019, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-48703112.

53 Wekesa, “A Constitutional Approach to the Decriminalisation of Homosexuality in Africa,” 2.

54 Elizabeth Landau, Zain Verjee, and Antonia Mortensen, “Uganda President: Homosexuals are ‘Disgusting.’” CNN, February 25, 2014, https://www.cnn.com/2014/02/24/world/africa/uganda-homosexuality-interview/index.html.

55 Agence France-Presse, “Ugandan President Refuses to Approve Law Jailing Gay People for Life,” The Guardian, January 17, 2014, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/17/uganda-president-law-jailing-gay-people-life.

56 Agence France-Presse, “Ugandan President Refuses to Approve Law Jailing Gay People for Life.”

57 Landau, Verjee, and Mortenson, “Uganda President”

58 Landau, Verjee, and Mortenson.

59 Human Rights Watch, Together Apart,” 10. See also Tabona Shoko “‘Worse than Dogs and Pigs?’ Attitudes toward Homosexual Practice in Zimbabwe,” Journal of Homosexuality 57, no. 5 (2010): 634–49, at 644.

60 Wekesa, “A Constitutional Approach to the Decriminalisation of Homosexuality in Africa,” 1.

61 As quoted in Wekesa, “A Constitutional Approach to the Decriminalisation of Homosexuality in Africa,” 1–2.

62 Hannibal Goitom, “Gambia: Law Enacted Making Aggravated Homosexuality a Crime,” Global Legal Monitor, November 26, 2014, https://www.loc.gov/law/foreign-news/article/gambia-law-enacted-making-aggravated-homosexuality-a-crime/.

63 Human Rights Watch, Together Apart, 10.

64 Wekesa, “A Constitutional Approach to the Decriminalisation of Homosexuality in Africa,” 2.

65 Aliza I. Kassim and Lillian Leposo, “Gay, Lesbian Groups Criticize Kenyan Leader's Remarks,” CNN, November 30, 2010, http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/africa/11/30/kenya.gay.reaction/index.html.

66 “Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto Says There Is ‘No Room’ for Gays in His Country,” Huffington Post, May 5, 2015, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/william-ruto-kenya-gays_n_7203686.

67 Justus Wanga, “It's Scandal after Scandal: Should Ruto First Clean His House?” Daily Nation, February 22, 2020, https://nation.africa/kenya/news/politics/it-s-scandal-after-scandal-should-ruto-first-clean-his-house--253132.

68 “Deputy President William Ruto, Raila Clash on Church Donations,” K24TV, July 22, 2019, https://www.k24tv.co.ke/news/deputy-president-william-ruto-raila-clash-on-church-donations-3437/.

69 “Aden Duale: Homosexuality ‘As Serious as Terrorism,’” Standard Digital, March 27, 2014, https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/kenya/article/2000107963/duale-homosexuality-as-serious-as-terrorism.

70 Gitari, “The Gay Debate.”

71 Gitari, “The Gay Debate.” Gitari was the co-founder and executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission in Kenya (www.nglhrc.com); See also Eric Mawira Gitari, “Serious Challenges, with Some Green Shoots of Hope,” Harvard Law Today, October 7, 2019, https://today.law.harvard.edu/serious-challenges-with-some-green-shoots-of-hope/.

72 Gitari, “The Gay Debate.”

73 Ukah, “Apocalyptic Homophobia.” See also Ukah, Asonzeh, “Pentecostal Apocalyptism: Hate Speech, Contested Citizenship and Religious Discourses on Same-Sex Relations in Nigeria,” Citizenship Studies 22, no. 6 (2018): 633–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

74 Gitari, “The Gay Debate.”

75 Gitari, “The Gay Debate.”

76 Adriaan van Klinken, “Homosexuality Remains Illegal in Kenya as Court Rejects LGBT Petition,” Conversation, May 25, 2019, https://theconversation.com/homosexuality-remains-illegal-in-kenya-as-court-rejects-lgbt-petition-112149.

77 Mwangi, Oscar Gakuo, “Religious Fundamentalism, Constitution Making and Democracy in Kenya: The Kadhi Courts Debate,” The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs 101, no. 1 (2012): 4152CrossRefGoogle Scholar; See also Richard Allen Greene, “Kenya's Churches Unite against Draft Constitution,” CNN, August 4, 2010, https://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/africa/08/04/kenya.constitution.churches/index.html.

78 Wekesa, “A Constitutional Approach to the Decriminalisation of Homosexuality in Africa,” 1–2.

79 Parsitau, Damaris Seleina, “Islamophobia or Space Contestations? Christian Churches and the Kadhi Courts Controversy during the Constitution Review Process in Kenya (1990–2010),” in Fighting in God's Name: Religion and Conflict, in Local-Global Perspectives, ed. Adogame, Afe, Adeboye, Olufunke, and Williams, Corey L. (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2020), 189211Google Scholar.

80 These clergy were joined in opposition to the draft by others from newer churches such as House of Grace, Gospel Assemblies of Kenya also known as Jubilee Commonwealth Church, Jesus Manifestation Church International, Around the Globe Deliverance Ministries, Christian Foundation Ministries and many other religious organizations, including the Kenya Christian Lawyers Fellowship to oppose the draft.

81 Parsitau, Damaris Seleina, “Arise, Oh Ye Daughters of Faith: Pentecostalism, Women and Public Culture in Kenya,” in Christianity and Public Culture in Africa, ed. Englund, Harri (Columbus: Ohio University Press, 2011), 131–46Google Scholar, at 135.

82 Parsitau, “Islamophobia or Space Contestations?,” 199.

83 Parsitau, “Islamophobia or Space Contestations?,” 201.

84 Balcomb, Anthony, “From Apartheid to the New Dispensation: Evangelicals and the Democratization of South Africa,” Journal of Religion in Africa 34, no. 1-2 (2004): 538CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 6.

85 David Smith, “US Evangelical Christians Accused of Promoting Homophobia in Africa,” The Guardian, July 23, 2012, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/jul/24/evangelical-christians-homophobia-africa.

86 See Jeffrey Gettleman, “American's Role Seen in Uganda Anti-Gay Push,” New York Times, January 3, 2010, https://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/04/world/africa/04uganda.html.

87 “US Dollars Fuelling Church Campaign,” Daily Nation, May 2, 2010, https://nation.africa/kenya/news/politics/us-dollars-fuelling-church-campaign--632694.

88 Human Rights Watch, Together Apart, 11.

89 Van Klinken, “Beyond African Religious Homophobia.”

90 See Parsitau, “Islamophobia or Space Contestations?,” 201. See also Ndzovu, Hassan Juma, “Muslim Christian Contestations over the Entrenchment of Kadhi Courts in the New Constitution of Kenya: Challenging the Principle of a Secular State,” in Religious Pluralism, Heritage and Social Development in Africa, ed. Christian Green, M. et al. (Stellenbosch: Sun MeDia, 2017), 121–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

91 Daniel Branch, “Kenya's Referendum: ‘In the Name of God, No!,’” Open Democracy, August 17, 2010, https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/kenyas-referendum-in-name-of-god-no/.

92 See Parsitau, “Islamophobia or Space Contestations?,” 201.

93 I attended a significant number of these civic education drives in various Christian churches in Nairobi and Nakuru in order to gain better perspective of what type of civic education was being rolled out. By and large, much of it concentrated on highlighting the issues that the churches viewed as contentious, such as Kadhi courts, abortion, homosexuality, and the bill of rights. Much of it appeared misinterpreted, distorted, and misleading. On several occasions, I challenged and gave my perspectives on what I thought were misleading facts, something that was not kindly received by some clergy.

94 See Parsitau, “Islamophobia or Space Contestations?,” 200–03.

95 See also van Klinken, Adriaan, “Gay Rights, the Devil and the End Times: Public Religion and the Enchantment of the Homosexual Debates in Zambia,” Religion 43, no. 4 (2013): 519–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

96 See Parsitau, Damaris Seleina, “Praying for Husbands! Single Women Negotiating Faith and Patriarchy in Contemporary Kenya,” in The Palgrave Handbook of African Social Ethics, ed. Wariboko, Nimi and Falola, Toyin (Cham: Palgrave Macmillan/Springer, 2020), 6992CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

97 Van Klinken, “Beyond African Religious Homophobia.”

98 “Reforms Activist Beats Judges in Race for CJ,” Daily Nation, May 13, 2011, https://nation.africa/kenya/news/politics/reforms-activist-beats-judges-in-race-for-cj--768324.

99 “Mutunga, Barasa, Tobiko Vetting,” KTN News Kenya, YouTube, June 7, 2011, 4:47, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzHPHQw3Q94. Many Christians in the country deem men who wear ear studs to be homosexuals.

100 The findings of the Kenya Population and Housing Census 2009 show that Christians make up 31.8 million of Kenya's 38.6 million people representing 82.6 percent of the population, compared to 78 percent in the 1998. Muslims comprise of about 4.3 million. Kenya Bureau of National Statistics, Population and Housing Census of Kenya 2009, https://www.knbs.or.ke/; Kenya Bureau of National Statistics, Kenya Population and Housing Census, 2019, https://www.knbs.or.ke/.

101 Mwangi, Evan, “Queer Agency in Kenya's Digital Media,” African Studies Review 57, no. 2 (2014): 93113CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 107, 107n9.

102 Philip Mwakio, “MPs: We'll Reject Mutunga, Baraza in Parliament,” The Standard, May 16, 2011, https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/business/article/2000035229/mps-we-ll-reject-mutunga-baraza-in-parliament.

103 “Why Former Detainee Won Race for CJ,” Daily Nation, May 13, 2011, https://nation.africa/kenya/news/politics/why-former-detainee-won-race-for-cj-768320.

104 Tamale, Sylvia, “Confronting the Politics of Nonconforming Sexualities in Africa,” African Studies Review 56, no. 2 (2013): 3134CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 42.

105 Tamale, 42.

106 Tamale, 42.

107 For example, Makau Mutua's articles “Rights Body Has Finally Stood up for Gays and Lesbians,” and “Why Homophobia Is a Fear of One's Own Sexuality,” were published in the Daily Nation, but they are no longer available online. An excerpt of “Rights Body Has Finally Stood up for Gays and Lesbians,” can be read on the blog Global Equality Today, accessed March 8, 2021, https://globalequality.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/rights-body-has-finally-stood-up-for-gays-and-lesbians/amp/.

108 Washington Osiro, “Corruption in Kenya: We All Know Uhuru Kenyatta's Government Is Corrupt But ‘Raila Will “Nefa” Be President!’” Huffington Post, November 5, 2016, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/corruption-in-kenya-yes-w_b_12791380.

109 Damaris Seleina Parsitau, “The Civic and Public Roles of Kenyan Neo-Pentecostalism 1970–2010” (PhD diss., Kenyatta University, 2014), 31, 375–76.

110 Paul Gifford, Christianity, Politics and Public Life in Kenya (London: Hurst & Co, 2009), 249.

111 Parsitau, Damaris Seleina, “‘Keep Holy Distance and Abstain till He Comes’: Interrogating a Pentecostal Church's Engagements with HIV/AIDS and the Youth in Kenya,” Africa Today 56, no. 1 (2009): 4464CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

112 Ukah, “Pentecostal Apocalypticism,” 634.

113 David Owuor, “His Sons No More: Who Will Pitch the Lord's Tent,” highwayofholiness.us (blog), February 3, 2015, https://medium.com/@USARepent/his-sons-no-more-9899dd7ec7f7.

114 See Damaris Seleina Parsitau, “Violent Theologies, Women's Bodies and the Church ‘Business’ in Kenya,” The Elephant, October 31, 2019, https://www.theelephant.info/features/2019/10/31/violent-theologies-womens-bodies-and-church-business-in-kenya/; Damaris Seleina Parsitau, “Body Shaming in Prophet Owuor's Misogynistic Ministry,” The Elephant, November 21, 2019, https://www.theelephant.info/features/2019/11/21/body-shaming-in-prophet-owuors-misogynistic-ministry/.

115 For a recent survey of Kenyan religious leaders’ views on sexuality and legal rights, see Mbote et al. “Kenyan Religious Leaders’ Views on Same-Sex Sexuality and Gender Nonconformity.”

116 Van Klinken, “Homosexuality Remains Illegal in Kenya.”

117 Gitari, “The Gay Debate.”

118 Gitari.

119 See “Kenya High Court Orders LGBT Group Registration,” Human Rights Watch, April 28, 2015, https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/04/29/kenya-high-court-orders-lgbt-group-registration. See the decision in Eric Gitari v Non-Governmental Organisations Co-ordination Board & 4 others (2015) K.L.R. (H.C.K.).

120 Human Rights Watch, “Kenya High Court Orders LGBT Group Registration.”

121 See the Non-Governmental Organizations Co-ordination Board website, https://ngobureau.go.ke.

122 See van Klinken, “Homosexuality Remains Illegal in Kenya.”

123 Human Rights Watch, “Kenya High Court Orders LGBT Group Registration.”

124 Gitari, “The Gay Debate”; Human Rights Watch, “Kenya High Court Orders LGBT Group Registration.”

125 See COI & another v Chief Magistrate Ukunda Law Courts & 4 others (2018) K.L.R. (C.A.K.); see also Human Rights Watch, “Kenya Rules Forced Anal Exams Unconstitutional,” Human Rights Watch, March 22, 2018, https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/03/22/kenya-court-finds-forced-anal-exams-unconstitutional.

126 Nita Bhalla, “Rare Win for Gay Rights as Kenya Court Rules Forced Anal Tests Illegal,” Reuters, March 28, 2018, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-kenya-lgbt-anal-tests/rare-win-for-gay-rights-as-kenya-court-rules-forced-anal-tests-illegal-idUSKBN1GY2SI; see also Audrey Kunycky, “Eric Gitari LL.M. ’18 on Litigating a Landmark LGBT Case in Kenya: ‘It Has Given People Confidence to See What's Possible,’” Harvard Law Today, May 14, 2018, https://today.law.harvard.edu/eric-gitari-ll-m-18-litigating-landmark-lgbt-case-kenya-case-given-people-confidence-see-whats-possible/.

127 Kunycky, “Eric Gitari LL.M. ’18.”

128 Kunycky.

129 Van Klinken, “Homosexuality Remains Illegal in Kenya.”

130 See Max Bearak, “Kenya Is Close to Legalizing Homosexuality. What about the Rest of Africa?” Washington Post, February 22, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/02/21/kenya-is-close-legalizing-homosexuality-what-about-rest-africa/; Brianna Duggan, “Kenya's Top Court Considers Case to Legalize Homosexuality,” CNN, February 23, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/23/africa/case-legalize-homosexuality-kenya/index.html. The decision to the contrary received global attention. See Reuben Kyama and Richard Pérez-Peña, “Kenya's High Court Upholds a Ban on Gay Sex,” New York Times, May 24, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/24/world/africa/kenya-gay-ban-british.html; Frederick Nzwili, “Kenyan Court Upholds Bans on Gay Intimacy,” Religion News Service, May 24, 2019, https://religionnews.com/2019/05/24/kenyan-court-upholds-bans-on-gay-intimacy/; Jacob Kushner, “The British Empire's Homophobia Lives On in Former Colonies,” The Atlantic, May 24, 2019, https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/05/kenya-supreme-court-lgbtq/590014/.

131 See Eric Gitari v Attorney General & another (2016) K.L.R. (H.C.K.).

132 The LGBTI community has continued to agitate for their rights, voice, and recognition including using social media hashtags such as #Repeal162, referring to Kenya's penal code.

133 Penal Code (1930) Cap. 63 § 162, 15.

134 EG & 7 others v Attorney General; DKM & 9 others (Interested Parties); Katiba Institute & another (Amicus Curiae) (2016) (H.C.K.).

135 EG & 7 others, paras. 199, 307.

136 Gitari, “The Gay Debate.”

137 Gitari, “The Gay Debate.”

138 Mwende Kwalo and Jacky Grace (pseudonyms), telephone interviews with the author, May 25, 2020.

139 Ashley Lime, “Ezekiel Mutua: The Man Who Polices Kenyan Pop Music,” BBC News, August 31, 2019, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-46371971.

140 Michael Oduor, “Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta Rejects Gay Agenda in Global Population Conference,” Africanews, November 9, 2019, https://www.africanews.com/2019/11/09/kenya-s-president-uhuru-kenyatta-rejects-gay-agenda-in-global-population//.

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