President-elect William Ruto responded to queries on how his administration plans to address the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ+) rights in Kenya.
Ruto speaks on LGBTQ+ rights during interview with CNN
Ruto was put on the spot light over comments he made during his campaigns regarding the LGBTQ+ rights
Ruto was speaking during an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday evening.
"I am very clear that we respect everybody and what they believe in, but we also have what we believe in and we expect to be respected for what we believe in," he spoke.
At the same time, Ruto said he would focus on tackling other major issues facing Kenyans.
"We do not want to create a mountain out of a molehill…When it becomes a big issue for the people of Kenya, the people of Kenya will make a choice," he added.
During his campaign in March 2022, Ruto said that as a public servant, he respects the Constitution and the law would become the guiding principle.
“My position as a Christian is that Bible teaches us against homosexuality and related matters, that is me as William Ruto,” Ruto stated.
“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.
Ruto’s recent sentiments on CNN are similar to those made by outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2018 on the same station.
In an interview with Christiane Amanpour Uhuru said that homosexuality was not an issue of human rights in Kenya, but rather of "our own base as a culture."
“I want to be very clear, I will not engage in a subject that is not of any major importance to the people and Republic of Kenya. This is not Uhuru Kenyatta saying yes or no, this is an issue that the people of Kenya have bestowed upon themselves in a constitution after several years and clearly stated that this is not a subject that they are willing to engage in at this time.
“In years to come, possibly long after I am president, who knows? Maybe our society will have reached a stage where those are issues people are willing to discuss openly and freely,” Uhuru said.
He added that he would only give his personal opinion on the matter after leaving office because, at the time, he represented the people of Kenya.
“After I finish the process I can talk about my personal opinion but as the leader of the people of Kenya, I represent that which our people are desirous to be and I have no choice, that is my position,” he said in 2018.
In 2019, the High Court dismissed a petition that sought to overturn a law criminalising same-sex relationships.
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