DP Ruto speaks on LGBTQ+ rights says no Kenyan should be abused

DP Ruto said as a Christian, he follows what the Bible taught him

Kenya's Deputy President Dr. William Ruto gives a speech when he attended a fundraiser for a church in Nyamira, western Kenya on October 15, 2020. (Photo by BRIAN ONGORO/AFP via Getty Images)

Deputy President William Ruto has given the strongest indication yet about his position on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ+) rights in the country.

“My position as a Christian is that Bible teaches us against homosexuality and related matters, that is me as William Ruto,” Ruto said.

However, the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) leader reiterated that as a public servant, he respects the Constitution and if elected the law will become the guiding principle.

“Whatever is within the Constitution, and the law, I’ll respect. So long as everybody is operating within the law, and within what is permissible within the Constitution, they have nothing to fear because we are a nation governed by the rule of law,” he said.

DP Ruto who is currently on tour in the United States of America (USA), reiterated the importance of safeguarding and protecting the rights of every single Kenyan irrespective of whether one shares the same beliefs and principles.

“Every Kenyan must be subjected to the rule of law…no Kenyan should be subjected to any harassment or any form of harm,” Ruto told Mvemba Phezo Dizolele, Director and Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic International Studies.

The Deputy President seems to have had a change of heart as in 2015 Ruto while speaking during a church service at Jesus Winner Ministry in Roysambu said Kenya would not allow the practice of homosexuality saying it is against Christianity and human nature.

“We will stand with religious leaders to defend our faith and believes. We will not allow homosexuality in our society as it violates our religious and cultural believes," he said.

Decriminalising Homosexuality in Kenya

Private consensual sexual conduct between adults of the same sex is criminalised in Kenya. Activists argue that the laws criminalizing consensual same-sex relations between adults are in breach of the constitution because they deny basic rights.

One law punishes "carnal knowledge against the order of nature" and prescribes up to 14 years in prison for people convicted of homosexual acts. Another says "indecent practices between males" can bring up to five years in prison.

Kenya's courts have in the past ruled in favor of LGBT+ rights. In 2018, an appeals court ruled unlawful the use of forced anal exams to test whether two men had gay sex.

In 2015, High Court judges ordered a government agency to register a rights group representing gay people, saying Kenya's constitution recognizes and protects the rights of minorities.

However, in 2019 Kenya's High Court upheld sections of the penal code that criminalize same-sex relations saying the petitioners had failed to prove how the laws violated their right to health, dignity and privacy and said the laws do not single out gay people.

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