By The Independent Team
Gays and lesbians in Kenya have joined a global effort to protest against an anti-homosexuality bill passed by Uganda’s parliament and now in the hands of the country’s president.
Several dozen gays, lesbians and supporters demonstrated in front of Uganda’s High Commission in Nairobi on Feb. 10. Many wore rainbow colored wigs and masks.
Addressing the media outside the commission’s offices, the protestors termed the bill as draconian, stating that the effects of the bill were already being felt at entry points to Uganda as most gays and lesbians were being denied entry into the country.
The Uganda Anti –Homosexuality bill commonly referred to as ‘Kill the gays bill’ due to its originally proposed death penalty that was dropped in favour of life imprisonment is already in the Ugandan parliament and is awaiting presidential assent to become law.
“We have come out in solidarity with our Ugandan counterparts to ask President Yoweri Museveni not to enact the bill as the effects of the bill have already made some of the gays and lesbians from Uganda to seek asylum in Kenya as their lives are in danger” said Eric Gitari who is the Director, National Gays and Lesbians Human Rights Commission in Kenya.
The petition also reminded President Museveni not to ‘betray’ the history of Uganda as gays and lesbians have lived in the country since time immemorial. “The law will also affect gay people traveling to Uganda as a travel ban is to be issued to this effect, this will not go well with the spirit of East African Unity as it will affect Uganda’s relations to her neighbours,” said Gitari, also a lawyer for the movement. “Laws are meant to protect people and not to violate their rights, as gay rights are also human rights” said Gitari.
Small protests are being held around the globe in hopes of pressuring Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni not to sign the bill, which calls for life imprisonment for some homosexual acts.