During a joint press conference which took place very recently, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta pushed gay rights aside and called them a “non-issue” for his country, while President Barack Obama completely disagreed, trying to nudge African nations to treat gays and lesbians equally under the law.
President Kenyatta said the issue would not be on the agenda; his deputy, William Ruto, recently called homosexuality “dirty” – while a group of Kenyan elders threatened to pelt eggs at Obama if he even attempted to bring up the issue. But Obama did not scare easily and stayed on the topic of gay rights at Saturday’s news conference with Kenyatta, comparing discrimination against homosexuals with the U.S. history of slavery, as well as warning that governments should mistreat citizens differently simply because of their sexual preference. You know, common sense.
“I’m not equivocal on this. If somebody is a law-abiding citizen who’s going about their business or working in a job and obeying the traffic signs and doing all of the other things that good citizens are supposed to do and not harming anybody, the idea that they’re going to be abused because of who they love is just wrong,” Obama said.
“As an African American in the U.S., I am painfully aware of what happens when people are treated differently under the law.”
Kenyan law makes it illegal to have “carnal knowledge … against the order of nature” or to permit a male person “to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature.” These violations are punishable by a 14-year prison sentence.