A landmark ruling by a three-judge panel has Okayed that gay rights activists can now formally register their own groups and welfare organisations is causing a lot of disquiet

across Kenya’s religious divide and citizens at large. The ruling by Judges Issac Lenaola, Mumbi Ngugi and George Odunga was in response to a 2013 petition by the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. Initially, the organization had unsuccessfully tried — five times — to register under the nation’s Non- Governmental Organizations Coordination Act since 2012 but had been rejected on grounds that Kenya’s penal code criminalised gay and lesbian associations. The judges said registration was not about the moral and religious views of Kenyans, since the constitution does not set a limit of rights.

“Every person has the right to freedom of association, which includes the right to form, join or participate in the activities of an association of any kind,” the judges ruled, quoting Article 36 of Kenya’s constitution. Already, Muslims through the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM) and the Council of Imams and  Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) have voiced their concern of the high court ruling allowing gays and lesbians in the country to form a union to press for their rights. CIPK Organizing Secretary Sheikh Mohamed Khalifa accused Judges of abusing their powers by making rulings that are not in agreement with the constitution. “The constitution outlaws unions of the same sex and such ruling is contradictory and as Muslims, we shall not respect it”, he said. “We call upon the Chief Justice Willy Mutunga to reign on his judges to stop passing rulings that are not constitutional, especially on matters touching on religion”, he said.

He said they condemn anything that is against the natural order and are very upset by the trend of judges passing judgments that antagonize believers. The Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM) through its Secretary General, Adan Wachu has said that it will lodge a case in the high court to appeal against the
ruling through a ‘Pro-Family’ movement that brings in together different faith leaders. “We don not want outside influence concerning our culture,” Wachu said. “We would like to send a strong message to the US president that homosexuality debate would not become part of his agenda has it has become a tendency whenever he travels to the African continent,” said Bishop Mark Kariuki of Evangelical Alliance of Kenya. The leaders had held a close door meeting at Ufangamano House said they will organise protests ahead of the main anti-gay demos in June to express their displeasure with the court ruling.

Mvita Member of Parliament Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir has also slammed this ruling saying the judiciary continues to shock the nation with controversial rulings. “The constitution does not recognize same sex union and therefore the relationship is illegal. The law protects persons of unpopular views but we cannot allow illegal entities and outfits to be formed. We will be losing direction as a country,” said Abdulswamad. The legislator together with other Members of Parliament and religious leaders vowed to launch an appeal against the ruling and urged Kenyans of all faiths to unite against the introduction of practices that will erode morals values in the Kenyan societies. “We demand to know the individuals and organizations funding such outfits and their intentions. By allowing such acts, what are we trying to propagate to our children,” he added.

Shabani Mwalimu-a media representative at Hibut-Tahrir says the move contradicts the core principals of main stream religions. “Any religious person should not take this ideologically biased perspective of human rights from a liberal secular philosophy, which does not believe that humans have certain key rights.” Abubakar Bini-Chairman of CIPK in Uasin Gishu County during a press also joined hands with among other faith leaders Richard Henry-Deacon-Lego Maria Church in Eldoret to express there opposition to this move. “Gays should not be allowed to form any union,” Sheikh Abubakar said. Already, Anglican Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, is troubled by the ruling, saying Kenyan society is organized around “family units,” not gay rights groups. “The judgment was made with very narrow considerations and it is not only against Christianity, but also against Muslims’ teachings and traditions,” said Wabukala, who leads Kenya’s 4.5 million Anglican Christians, the country’s largest Protestant denomination. Under the laws of the land under the penal code section 162 through to 165, gay sex is a crime that can attract up to 14 years. Following the storm that has been brought about by the ruling, Deputy President William Ruto also sought to assure the nation that it will not see the light of day.

“There is “no room” for homosexuality in Kenyan society,” Mr Ruto is quoted as saying. ““The Republic of Kenya is a republic that worships God.” Kenya’s Attorney General, Professor Githu Muigai has filed an appeal against the landmark ruling that allows gays and lesbians to register an umbrella organisation to defend their human rights. In the notice of appeal filed at the High Court Registry, Professor Muigai is challenging the ruling on the grounds that the registration of a proposed NGO under a composite name that includes words which are not legally acceptable is prohibited. He cited the NGO Coordination Act, regulations and sections of the penal code. According to Islamic teachings, homosexuality is not allowed. There are various verses in Qur’an where Allah clearly says about homosexuality. We also (sent) Lut: he said to his people: “Do ye commit lewdness such as no people in creation (ever) committed before you? “For ye practice your lusts on men in preference to women: ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds.” - Holy Qur’an 7:80-81 “Of all the creatures in the world will ye approach males”. “And leave those whom Allah has created for you to be your mates? Nay ye are a people transgressing (all limits)!” - Holy Qur’an 26:165-166

The end result for not giving up homosexuality was the destruction of entire cities. When Our decree issued We turned (the cities) upside down and rained down on them brimstones hard as baked clay spread layer on layer Marked as from thy Lord: nor are they ever far from those who do wrong! - Holy Qur’an 11:82-83. The Qur’an forbids any sexual relationship other than in a marriage between a man and a woman. Many homosexual men and women claim that they are born with their sexual preferences and that they have no choice. Although this point is very much in dispute in the medical world, it has no support in the Qur’an. Even then, irrespective of the nature of homosexuality, this matter would not affect the laws spelled out clearly in the Qur’an .

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