The battle to have homosexuality legalized in Kenya has been taken to the Appeals Court.
The National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC) has decided to move to the Appellate Court after the High Court quashed their bid to decriminalize gay sex in May this year.
“In the last few months following the ruling, NGLHRC has been engaged in consultations with petitioners, interested parties, legal teams, CSO allies, and other stakeholders to strategize around the next phase of litigation,” NGLHRC said in a statement.
“In our arguments at the High Court, we decried the fact that sections 162, a,c, 163 and 165 of the penal code that criminalizes carnal knowledge against the order of nature – were used to justify violations and discriminate against sexual and gender minorities in Kenya.”
In their case at the High Court, the gay rights organization argued that under the 2010 Constitution, every person is equal before the law.
In quashing NGLHRC’s case, High Court presiding judges Roselyne Aburili, Chacha Mwita, and John Mativo ruled that Section 162 (a) and (c) of Kenya’s Penal Code clearly states that homosexuality is illegal in Kenya.
“We, [therefore], decline to issue the orders as sought by the petitioners. The phrase [in Section 162 (a) and (c) of Kenya’s Penal Code] is clear,” the judges ruled.
The court further dismissed claims that the Kenyan LGBTQ community would continue to be stigmatized if homosexuality remained a criminal offense.
“There is no basis upon which the court can say they [LGBTQ community] will be discriminated against. We, [therefore], dismiss the case that they will be discriminated,” said the court.
“Stigma is not exclusive to the LGBTQ community. Everyone has the right to access health.”