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Atheists society in Kenya backs Supreme Court ruling on registration of LGBTQ

Atheists in Kenya Society has welcomed the ruling made by the Supreme Court on the registration of associations of members of the LGBTQ community.

Amid the raging debate on the matter, the president of the society, Harrison Mumia, on Friday lauded the decision saying it has paved the way for the members of the LGBTQ community to go ahead to register their association at the NGO Coordination Board.

“We agree with the Supreme Court majority decision that the LGBTQ group cannot be excluded from the definition under Article 36 (of the Constitution of Kenya). Sub-Article (3) requires that any legislation that requires registration of an association of any kind shall provide that registration may not be withheld or withdrawn unreasonably,” Mr Mumia said.

Also read: US responds to Ruto’s stance on LGBTQ

He also pointed out that the same Constitution expressly provides for the registration of an association of any kind.

“The right to form an association is an inherent part of the right to freedom of association guaranteed to every person regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion or any other status,” he said.

Mr Mumia further said sexual orientation and gender identity are integral aspects of ourselves and should never lead to discrimination or
abuse and that everyone should be able to feel proud of who they are and whom they love. He also said the Atheists In Kenya Society will keep advocating for laws and policies that will protect everyone’s dignity.

Also read: LGBTQ question: Ruto upholds Uhuru’s hardline position on homosexuality

This comes even as the country’s top leadership strongly rebuked the Supreme Court ruling, which they say goes against Kenyan culture and traditions.

President William Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua on Thursday said same sex marriages have no place in the Kenyan society.

“I am a God fearing man. Even though we respect the court, our religion, traditions, law and customs do not allow for women to marry fellow women, nor for men to marry fellow men. I want to tell them that we have traditions, laws and customs, we respect our constitution and all our religions. We shall not allow women to marry women, or men to marry men. That is not possible in our country,” the President said.

Also read: Russia alerts Kenya of ‘Western hand’ in Supreme Court ruling on LGBTQ

The US government has since responded to these sentiments, saying they will respect the stand of each country on LGBTQ rights.

Speaking on Friday in Kitengela, Kajiado County, US Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman however said the long-term relationship between the US and Kenya will not be affected by their different positions on this matter.

“We have our very strong working relationship over many years and I think the Kenyan government probably knows the US perspective, in fact, I know they do but we also respect Kenya’s right on this particular issue,” said Whitman.

Last month, the Atheist society criticized a move by Homa Bay Town MP Peter Kaluma to introduce a motion before the National Assembly which seeks to introduce lifetime sentences for LGBTQ members.

Also read: Ruto – Same-sex marriages will not happen in Kenya