Thu, Feb 21, 2019 - Page 6 News List

Gay church prays for Kenya ruling

PRAYERS ANSWERED?The Kenyan High Court could tomorrow strike down laws that allow persecution, but such a ruling would likely become tied up in appeals

AFP, NAIROBI

Kenya’s decision could reverberate across the continent, where several countries are facing challenges to similar legislation.

Mozambique in 2015 struck down anti-gay laws, and Angola decriminalized homosexuality last month. Botswana is expected to hear a case against its laws next month.

“The law is one of the means of changing society,” Gitari said. “Politically, there is a chance for African states to assert themselves in their grounding of justice which is inclusive of LGBT persons without necessarily having to give in to political pressure, which is external.”

During the court case, local experts testified on the history of homosexuality in Kenya — often decried by politicians as a colonial import — and also leaned on a decision decriminalizing homosexuality in India last year.

Ochara believes that Kenyans are ready to begin a discussion about homosexuality.

In the meantime, the reality for those like Arthur is that “basically you live a lie,” with brief moments of respite in safe spaces such as the CAC.

He said that before CAC, he attended a church “where the messages every Sunday were that homosexuals, lesbians, they are not loved by God... It was like being stabbed every time.”

In between rousing gospel music and moments of candlelit reflection, the pastors gave a security update ahead of the court case, urging congregants to avoid certain hot spots and be careful if attending the ruling.

“I know you are fabulous, but don’t make yourself an easy target — you don’t need to have rainbow feathers on your head and all that sexiness,” Ochara said.

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