Nairobi (AFP) – Kenyan anti-gay protesters marched in Nairobi Monday warning US President Barack Obama not to speak about gay rights when he visits the country of his ancestors later this month.
“We do not want Obama and Obama, we do not want Michelle and Michelle,” they chanted. “We want Obama and Michelle and we want a child!”
“It is important for us as Kenyans to know that the US is not God, and thus we cannot follow them blindly,” said protest organizer and evangelical Christian pastor Bishop Mark Kariuki.
Kariuki said Obama was welcome to visit “his father’s home” but should not “talk about the gay issue.”
It came a day after Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto, who is on trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague accused of crimes against humanity, told worshippers at a church service that homosexuality was “against the plan” of God.
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While visiting his father’s homeland of Kenya Saturday, President Obama thought it would be prudent to give the nation’s leaders a speech on LGBT rights – equating it to legalized racism in the United States:
President Obama said, according to CNN:
“When you start treating people differently not because of any harm they are doing to anybody, but because they are different, that’s the path whereby freedoms begin to erode, and bad things happen. And when a government gets in a habit of people treating people differently, those habits can spread.”
The comment was made during a joint press conference between Obama and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. Kenyatta didn’t seem to be thrilled with his counterpart’s remarks, replying back:
“The fact of the matter is Kenya and the U.S. share so many values: common love for democracy, entrepreneurship, value for families — these are some things that we share. But there are some things that we must admit we don’t share, our culture, our societies don’t accept.
“It is very difficult for us to be able to impose on people that which they themselves do not accept.. This is why I repeatedly say for Kenyans today the [gay rights issue] is generally a non-issue. We want to focus on other areas.”
Sexual activity between two individuals of the same gender is illegal and punishable by a maximum jail sentence of 14 years in most cases, according to Kenya’s penal code.
Even if Kenyatta – whose family has not always been on the best of terms with the Obamas – wanted to heed the American president’s advice and adopt LGBT reforms in the African nation, he would be in the minority.
According to a 2007 Pew Global study, 96% of Kenyans surveyed believe that homosexuality should be rejected – a stark contrast to the 41% of Americans who felt the same way at the time. A 2011 study published by the non-governmental Kenya Human Rights Commission also found that among the Kenyans who came out or were outed to their family members, 89% of them were later disowned.
The two leaders went on to discuss several other topics during their joint press conference, including Kenya’s economy, their shared fight against terrorism in Africa and – of course – Obama’s connection to the African nation.
But as Kenyatta noted in his response, Obama could have brought up several other key items of interest:
- Poverty – UNICEF reports that 43.4% of Kenya’s population lives below the international poverty line of $1.25/day, compared with just 4% of Americans.
- HIV/AIDs – Among Kenyans adults, 6.1% of the population suffers from the disease. In comparison, less than 1% of Americans currently suffer from the disease, according to UNICEF.
- Infant/Child Mortality – In Kenya, 49 in 1,000 infants typically die before the age of 1, and approximately 108,000 children each year will die before the age of 5. In the United States, just 6 in 1,000 infants typically die before their first birthday, with about 29,000 children dying before they turned 5.
Obama still has two more days in Africa, so perhaps one of these topics will come up during that time.
Perhaps other topics will come up? Ha! Perhaps not, since O has no intention of addressing any real issues with Kenya.
We’ve been seeing posts on the internet for days from various sources stating that Kenyans didn’t want to hear his gay rights BS, so he had to know it too. He has overpaid advisors that keep him updated on these things and still, he goes down there and brings it up anyway. The man is so full of himself he thinks he can go to Kenya and bully them into accepting homosexuality. It’s no wonder other world leaders have so little respect for him.
Kenyatta’s statement – “It is very difficult for us to be able to impose on people that which they themselves do not accept..” is something Americans should be hearing from our president. Instead we get a lay-down Supreme Court and rainbow lights on our White House.