You win some, you lose others, but never give up
It has been a week since the devastating judgement, where the High Court dismissed our petition seeking to decriminalize same sex intimacy in Kenya. Filed in 2016, the case challenged the constitutionality of sections 162 (a), (c) and 165 of the Penal Code of Kenya which outlaw 'carnal knowledge against the order of nature and indecent acts between males whether in public or private.
In our arguments, we had submitted that these sections of the Penal Code, while ascribing penalty to any person found guilty unnatural acts; are discriminately applied and used to justify violence and prejudice against sexual and gender minorities in Kenya. Criminalization of same sex conduct has far reaching effects on the lives of sexual and gender minorities in Kenya, including violence- physical, emotional and sexual-, evictions, discrimination in service provision among other human rights violations.
In their decision, the three judge bench -Lady Justice Roselyn Aburili, Justice Chacha Mwita and Justice J. Mativo-found that the petitioners failed to convince the court that the clauses were used to discriminate against the sexual and gender minorities. The bench insisted that the clauses did not, in fact, discriminate against sexual minorities or violate their constitutional rights to privacy and equality. In a unanimous decision, the three judges averred that the sections were not particular to LGBTIQ+ persons, that they were a block, covering anyone who engaged in un-natural act, and that constitutional rights to privacy and dignity are not absolute.
“We hereby decline the relief sought and dismiss the combined petition. We find that the impugned sections are not unconstitutional, accordingly the combined petitions have no merit,” read Justice Roselyn Aburili.
Read the consolidated ruling here
The petition did not in anyway seek to legalize same sex marriages as the judges alluded. It sought respect of human rights for all, it sought freedom for LGBTIQ+ persons. Read the petition here
As human rights defenders, we believe in equal treatment of all. We believe in humanity, in our human-ness, in acceptance, respect and tolerance. We embrace diversity, we believe that #LoveIsHuman. That the feeling of love should not be criminalized, it should not come with stigma or discrimination.
The fight is not over. . .
We are appealing the judgement! And we need your support in sustaining this fight, in and out of court.
How do you support us?
1. Financial support- Strategic Litigation is not cheap. Donate to us.
2. Speak out - Be the voice, be an active ally. Speak out against violence, discrimination and any Human Rights Violation against LGBTIQ+ persons.
3. Donate in Kind- your services, expertise pro-bono.
4. Reach out, talk to us
Stand up for us
*********Court of Appeal affirms our win, dismisses appeal*********
On 22nd March 2019, the Court of Appeal in Nairobi, dismissed an appeal by the NGO Co-ordination Board that challenged our registration win status. Three judges dismissed the appeal, reinstating the fact that ALL Kenyans are entitled to enjoy their basic rights as provided for in the constitution. Filed in 2013, the Freedom of Association case challenges the NGO agency stand not to register National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission as an NGO due to the words 'Gay and Lesbian'.
You can read all about the win, that has since been appealed, here.