alexa LGBT supporters dress up for gay sex ruling - Daily Nation

LGBT supporters dress up for gay sex ruling

Friday February 22 2019

LGBT

LGBT supporters at the High Court on February 22, 2019. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

NATION REPORTER
By NATION REPORTER
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Supporters and members of Kenya's LGBT community Friday turned up in large numbers at the High Court for the ruling on decriminalisation of gay sex in the country.

Same-sex couples, some donned in matching outfits, wore colourful attires for the historic ruling. Some hugged and chit chatted outside the court moments before the court session begun.

They were hopeful that the colonial-era laws which criminalise homosexuality would be scrapped off.

When it was time to enter the courtroom, some couples walked hand in hand and sat next to each other to listen to Judge Chacha Mwita. 

But the much-anticipated judgment was pushed to May as judge Mwita said it was not ready as some judges had been busy. Some of those in the matter are part of benches handling other cases, Mr Mwita said.

LGBT supporters outside the court in Nairobi.

LGBT supporters outside the court in Nairobi. PHOTO | JEFF ANGONTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

"The files are above my height... we are still working," the judge said, adding that one of his colleagues was on leave.

"We plan to meet in April if all goes well and see whether we can come up with a decision. You do not appreciate what the judges are going through."

LGBT activists attend a court hearing in

LGBT activists attend a court hearing in Nairobi. PHOTO | AFP

He set the decision, on whether to scrap colonial-era laws which criminalise homosexuality, for May 24.

Homosexuality is illegal in Kenya, a section of the penal code stating that anyone who has "carnal knowledge... against the order of nature" can be imprisoned for 14 years.

LGBT activists attend a court hearing on

LGBT activists attend a court hearing on February 22, 2019. PHOTO | AFP

Another section provides for a five-year jail term for "indecent practices between males".

Gay rights organisations are asking the court to scrap these two sections.

Others walked hand in hand into the court room.

Others walked hand in hand into the court room. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

On social media, Kenya's LGBT community and allies have been anxiously counting down the hours to the ruling.

"To say we are disappointed would be an understatement," the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Council (NGLHRC), one of the petitioners, wrote on Twitter.

Prominent commentator Patrick Gathara slammed a "sad, sad day" for the judiciary, describing the postponement as "ludicrous".

Additional reporting by AFP