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Ruto Takes First Action Against Supreme Court LGBTQ Ruling



Ruto Takes First Action Against Supreme Court LGBTQ Ruling

Even though Ruto acknowledged that the Supreme Court had already ruled on LGBTQ rights…

President William Ruto has announced that the government will seek a review of the decision by the Supreme Court that allowed LGBTQ+ members to register an NGO in Kenya.

Speaking during a church service at Kapsabet Showground, Nandi County on Sunday, March 19, Ruto revealed that Attorney General Justin Muturi will act as a representative of the government in court.

Muturi, according to Ruto, would be the one to ask the apex court for a review to ensure that the Constitution of Kenya is upheld, a review which would also determine where the Constitution would come in place.

President William Ruto with Attorney General, Justin Muturi. /FILE

“As a government, we know that some matters were decided by the Supreme Court on the LGBTQ issue. I want to assure you that the Attorney General on behalf of the Kenyan government, will go to court to ask the court to review that so we know where the constitution of Kenya comes in,” Ruto said.

Even though Ruto acknowledged that the Supreme Court had already ruled on LGBTQ rights, he emphasized that the government would not be swayed by external influences on matters that the constitution is clear about.

He added that the government was committed to defending the country’s values and principles and that the review of the Supreme Court’s decision was necessary to ensure that the constitution is not undermined.

The Supreme Court on Friday, February 24 ruled that denying LGBTQ+ members the right to register as a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) was discriminatory. This followed a 2013 lower court ruling that denied the community in Kenya the ability to register an NGO to advance their rights.

LGBTQ+ activists who have been fighting for recognition and protection for over a decade hailed the ruling as a bittersweet victory following the end of an 11-year battle that sought the official registration of an LGBTQ+ organisation in Kenya.

However, the ruling sparked uproar from across the divide with leaders saying religious, traditional and cultural values do not permit same-sex relations in Kenya. 

During the launch of the Women Enterprise Fund and the second product of the Hustler Fund at KICC, Nairobi on Thursday, March 2, Ruto indicated that Kenya has values that should be respected and that women should not be allowed to be dragged into a competition by men who have feelings for their own gender.

Across the divide, Azimio la Umoja leader, Raila Odinga, also faulted the Supreme Court’s ruling on LGBTQ+, accusing the apex court of contravening the laws by making a law- a mandate which falls on Parliament, and that the apex Court should have directed the matter to Parliament which is mandated to enact or amend laws. 

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua on his part stated that the LGBTQ matter was immoral, and went against the country’s beliefs, echoing President Ruto as a God-fearing man.

“We don’t want that matter of LGBTQ, that is satanic. It is the opposite of what we believe in.

“President Ruto is God-fearing, he’s a man of faith, and he will do what needs to be done. In any case, we have our traditions and customs and what they are suggesting is repugnant to morality and our way of life,” he went on.