Groups drawn to intersex convict’s case

Tuesday May 25 2010

Lawyer John Chigiti at a Nairobi court when he filed an application seeking orders to have medical reports about Richard Muasya tabled in court. PHOTO/ CORRESPONDENT

Lawyer John Chigiti at a Nairobi court when he filed an application seeking orders to have medical reports about Richard Muasya tabled in court. PHOTO/ CORRESPONDENT 

By JILLO KADIDA

Activists for and against gay unions have joined a case filed by an intersex convict seeking the legalisation of a third gender in Kenya.

The Kenya Christian Lawyers Fellowship is opposing the plea while the Gays and Lesbians Trust is for the case.

In the case, Richard Muasya, who was born with both male and female genital organs, but goes about as a man, has sued the government, saying that the laws of the land discriminate against him and others like him.

The robbery convict says the law recognises only two sexes — male and female — which he believes is unfair and discriminatory.

Order release

Muasya also wants the court to order his release from Kamiti maximum prison, a male prison, citing sexual harassment and inhuman treatment. He asked the court to establish a separate jail facility for intersex inmates.

But the Christian lawyers asked the court not to heed Muasya’s prayers.

The group argues that should the court permit the introduction of an indeterminate ‘third gender’, it is likely to open floodgates for the teaching of doctrines of homosexuality and lesbianism.

The group of lawyers doubted the agenda of the gay trust being enjoined as a friend of the case, arguing that it had not proved its legal status and had also failed to demonstrate the interest it is seeking.

As a result of this, the lawyers say, the gay trust may be seeking the recognition of gay rights as an offshoot of the court’s finding in the case.

They also argued that Muasya never presented before court any medical report to show that he either had a uterus or ovaries.

On its part, the gay trust did not suggest that they want to seek gay rights. In its suit papers, the trust merely supported Muasya’s arguments and urged the court to uphold his rights.

But the Attorney-General told Muasya to lobby Parliament to have the law changed.

A three-judge bench will hear his case in July.