As East African countries tighten their laws against homosexuality, a climate of fear is setting in within the LGBTQ community in Kenya. The country’s National Gay and Lesbian Rights Commission recorded 117 attacks targeting this community in February compared to 78 in January.
Activists denounce what they call a state-sponsored campaign of homophobia. It was in this context that the Supreme Court of Kenya rejected a petition to ban LGBTQ pressure groups.
“The court made a good decision by accepting us as we are, we know the courts recognize us, but the main problem is still our president. He has refused to recognize the LGBTQ community in Kenya, so we have to live in hiding”, explains Jasmine Nelima, Lesbian.
“My landlord asked me to leave the house. Because of the visits of my lesbian and gay friends. It’s not because of the noise but because I receive my friends. However, I pay my rent on time. I don’t understand why my rights aren’t respected. And I don’t know where to go anymore, I don’t have anywhere to live. Every time I find a new location, I’m evicted. My only request is that we be accepted as we are and that we are granted our rights, our rights as humans.” she explains.
Furthermore, Kenyan President William Ruto, elected last August, has already ruled out the possibility of same-sex marriages. In Burundi, President Evariste Ndayishimiye urged people to “curse those who engage in homosexuality”.