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Uhuru, Obama disagree on gay rights debate

Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta and Barack Obama publicly disagreed on the subject of gay rights on Saturday evening.

The two leaders were addressing an international press conference at State House Nairobi, following a two hour round of bilateral talks that were attended by senior government officials of both countries.

President Obama who is in the country on three-day visit, was of the opinion that those in a same sex relationship not only deserve respect and recognition, but should not be discriminated against.


“Take for instance someone who obeys all the laws in a country, is working hard to grow the economy by promptly paying all his bills and taxes on time, needs not be discriminated against because of whom he or she chooses to love,” Obama said.

But while responding to the same question, President Kenyatta emphasized that the gay subject was a “non issue” for Kenyans.

“America is one of  Kenya’s biggest partners and there are several things that we agree to working together on several matters including health, construction of roads and security. When we exhaust most of this issues, then we can consider moving on and discussing other matters,” Kenyatta said.

The gay rights subject has been a contentious subject in Kenya, and Africa in general, with political leaders, including Deputy President William Ruto and Parliament’s majority leader Aden Duale, vocal proponents in the campaign against the practice.