The NGO Coordination board had refused to register the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC) in March 2013, saying that the name of the organization was “unacceptable,” and that it could not register it because Kenya's penal code “criminalizes gay and lesbian liaisons.”
The matter was heard by a five-judge bench of the Court of Appeal.
By a majority of tree judges. The appellate court dismissed the appeal by the NGO coordination board, agreeing with the High Court that LGBT persons, should be allowed to form an organization.
The court ruled that despite the penal code criminalizing certain acts, LGBT are persons entitled to the same rights as all other Kenyans.
The ruling is a major win for the LGBT community which has for long been discriminated against by the government through anti-gay laws.
NGLHRC and the Gay and Lesbian Coalition have another petition before the High Court of Kenya, seeking scrapping sections of the penal code that criminalizes gay acts.
The two groups told the court that sections 162 and 165 of the Kenyan penal should be declared unconstitutional on the basis that they validate stigma, discrimination and violence towards LGBT persons.
The ruling is expected later in the year on May 24th.