High Court refuses to decriminalize gay sex as dissapointed LGBTQ community vow to appeal ruling - The Sauce
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High Court refuses to decriminalize gay sex as dissapointed LGBTQ community vow to appeal ruling

The Kenyan High Court has finally given the landmark ruling on gay sex and it is not in favour of the LGBTQ community.

The Kenyan LGBT community has this afternoon (24.05.19) been dealt a major blow after the High Court declined to repeal sections 162 of the penal code which criminalizes gay sex. The community wanted the court to decriminalize consensual same-sex but Judges Chacha Mwita, Roselyne Aburili and John Mativo in a unanimous decision declined.

“The Court holds that the impugned provisions of the Penal Code are not vague and disclose an offence. The petitioners have failed to prove that the provisions are discriminatory. There is no evidence to show that the petitioners were discriminated and their rights violated as they sought healthcare,” Mwita said.

The case was filed in 2016 by three organizations seeking to repeal Sections 162 and 165 of the colonial-era penal code, which criminalize sexual acts between persons of the same gender. LBGTQI activists, including Eric Gitari and NYARWEK, sued the Attorney General arguing that the law is discriminatory and an invasion of privacy.

However, the fight is not yet over as long with the LGBTQ community have vowed to continue to pursue redress
through the courts and will be filing an Appeal in the Court of Appeal, said National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC) in a press release sent to newsrooms.

The ruling had been postponed to today over challenges with the bench of judges. Justice Chacha Mwita who addressed the court on Friday last week said the judges have had challenges in writing the ruling. The challenges involve the huge volumes of files that were sent on hard copies instead of soft copies by the parties. Mwita apologized on behalf of the three-judge bench. He said most of the judges were in other benches so getting them together has been a hard task, reported The Star.

Members of the community referred to as Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression (SOGIE) were anxiously awaiting the ruling, hoping today will be a day to celebrate individual liberty, free expression, and human rights.

On February 22, the ruling was postponed to the disappointment of the community who had gone to court in the hundreds. The three-judge bench said the judgment was not ready and gave the May 24 date when they hoped to have completed writing it.

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The law currently states that a person who has sexual intercourse with another of the same sex whether in public or in private is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for as long as 14 years.

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