Judge got it wrong in gay sex ruling

Monday May 27 2019

By ABIGAIL ARUNGA
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It is the rampant privilege of the heterosexual class to assume that everyone wants to get married, when in actuality, marriage, even for heterosexuals, is not always a goal. In fact, when one is fighting for the right to be treated as human, marriage pales significantly in comparison.

This is one of the reasons that was given, during the Repeal162 ruling last week, about why the judge didn't want to grant Kenyans their basic rights as enshrined (already) in our Constitution – that the judge did not want to open the door to what could potentially be the legalisation of same sex marriage.

Unfortunately, what the judge failed to understand, is that no one is asking for same sex marriage. The idea behind Repeal162 has nothing to do with marriage, and everything to do with human rights.

DISCRIMINATED AGAINST

There is nowhere in the petition that says LGBTQ+ people want to do anything like get married. What, actually is problematic here is the discrimination and the meting out of violence on LGBTQ+ people.

The Constitution says that no one should be discriminated against on the basis of, but not limited to, gender, race, disability, etc. The Repeal162 is against the discrimination, something that is already criminal anyway.

The LGBTQ+ community in Kenya suffers at the hands of those who do not implement our Constitution, or indeed, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The judge said that there is not enough evidence of violence against the community, and yet there is repeated and documented evidence of harassment, unwarranted remand, and more.

Kenyans need to urgently wrap their heads around the fact that there are Kenyans who are operating on a different wavelength from them. And it has nothing to do with marriage, or religion, or forcing a supposedly gay lifestyle onto other Kenyans. There are gay Kenyans. Gay Kenyans have rights. The world is changing rapidly, and whether Kenyans recognise this or not, the change will get to them.

LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR

You see, all the reasons that a typical layman have to be against this ruling make no sense. Religion itself states that you should love your neighbour as you love yourself – with no caveat that indicates, as long as your neighbour isn't gay. We all have a sin, and the Bible clearly states that no sin is larger than the other. If that is the case, why do we have this much enthusiasm to monitor adults, instead of, say, the petty thieves in government?

No one is forcing a gay lifestyle onto someone else. That isn't a thing. Either you are gay, or you are not. It's exactly the same way that no one has to tell straight people that they are straight, or they are not. If you are, you are. And no, the repeal won't lead to widespread expressions of public affection everywhere. That's still counted as public indecency. Your kids, or whomever you're concerned about, isn't going to see whatever you're scared that they haven't already seen – and I hope you're monitoring your children's internet time as much as you're monitoring consensual adults. Homosexuality isn't a contagion.

There's the un-African argument, which speaks to the ignorance of not knowing your own history, so I won't address that at all. At the end of the day, no one should be discriminated against for something they are doing as a consenting adult in the privacy of wherever they're doing it. And sex that doesn't produce children is still sex, and should be legal – which is something else section 162 speaks against, but no one is focusing on that either. How is it that we live in a society where rapists and corrupt politicians are more accepted than people of differing sexuality? Where's the court ruling on that?

Come on, Kenya!

Twitter: @AbigailArunga