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December 11, 2018

We will not legalise same-sex marriage to get funding - Uhuru

Former US President Barack Obama and President Uhuru Kenyatta hold a joint news conference at State House in Nairobi July 25, 2015. /REUTERS
Former US President Barack Obama and President Uhuru Kenyatta hold a joint news conference at State House in Nairobi July 25, 2015. /REUTERS

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday said that Kenya will not bow to pressure to legislate same-sex marriages as a condition to receive donor funding.

Speaking in Nandi County, the President said that Kenya needs to become self-reliant in order to stop being pressured to put in place things that are not biblical.

"We must ensure that our development is what we want and not that brought from outside. We should not be told that if we want money, we must legislate that a man can marry another," Uhuru said in Swahili.

He then posed; "Is there anything of the sort in the Bible? Wouldn't we rather stay poor?"

Uhuru said that self-reliance would free Kenya to deal with what Kenyans believe in knowing that "we are standing on our own pocket."

"This is why I have insisted, even though people are slightly angry at me, let us pay taxes. This is your money that we can use for our development and this is why I am also insisting that we must protect this money from wastage," Uhuru said.

This is not the first time that Uhuru has dismissed gay rights as a non-issue for Kenya but it is the first that he has talked about it in relation to donor funding.

In July 2015, Uhuru firmly told then US President Barrack Obama that Kenya is not ready to embrace homosexuality.

He said in the Kenyan culture, homosexuality is not considered a human right.

“I want to be very clear, I will not engage in any subject that is not of any major importance to the people and the Republic of Kenya. This is not an issue of human rights, this is an issue of society. This is not acceptable, this is not agreeable,” he said.

In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in April, Uhuru reiterated the stand.

Section 165 of the Kenyan Constitution outlaws same-sex marriage and stipulates a five-year jail sentence for offenders.

More on this: Gay rights is non-issue in Kenya, Uhuru says during CNN interview

Also read:Experts to explain consensual same-sex in court case - Paul Muite

SeeI will not allow violence on gays, Uhuru says, cites protection for all under law 

Last year, director of the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, Eric Gitari, went to court seeking to have sections 162 and 165 of the penal code decriminalised.

Gitari said the sections are discriminatory and contravene provisions of the Constitution including the right to equality, freedom from discrimination, human dignity, freedom, security and the right to privacy.

Uhuru said he does not advocate for the violation or discrimination of the LGBT community as it is also part of the society whose rights are provided in the Constitution.

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