•Concerned Citizens Kenya said since the Supreme Court ruling allowing the LGBTQ community to form an association, some Mombasa members have been attacked..
•However, Anti-LGBTQ Movement chairman Salim Karama Thursday told the Star the fear of attacks on the LGBTQ community members is unfounded.
The LGBTQ community in Mombasa is living in fear following the announcement of anti-gay demonstrations across Mombasa, Lamu and Nairobi on Friday.
Already, more than 80 people have left Mombasa, fearing for their lives, according to some of the members.
SK, an LGBTQ community member in Mombasa, on Thursday told the Star his life is in danger.
“Since the start of the protests following that Supreme Court judgement, I have not been feeling safe,” SK said. He said he was born gay and not seduced or indoctrinated.
Experts say there is no single gene responsible for a person being gay or a lesbian.
According to a study by 'Science', an American magazine, human DNA cannot predict who is gay or heterosexual.
Andrea Ganna, the study’s co-author and genetics research fellow at the Broad Institute and Mass General Hospital, said sexuality cannot be pinned down by biology, psychology or life experiences because human sexual attraction is decided by all these factors.
SK on Thursday said his friends have escaped to other counties including Kisumu, Kiambu, Kericho, Makueni, among others.
“I cannot sleep in my house for the next three to four days. I have already been threatened by people I do not know. They call us bedbugs,” SK said.
“We were told there would be protests last Friday but they did not happen. Now we are told tomorrow there is another one and this one feels real because even my friends have left Mombasa,” SK said.
He said he has not reported to police because previous attempts were unsuccessful.
Concerned Citizens Kenya executive director Bradely Ouna said since the Supreme Court judgement that allowed the LGBTQ community to form an association, a number of attacks have taken place in Mombasa.
“There is tension among the gay community because of the planned demonstrations on Friday. We don’t know what will happen to them,” Ouna said.
Some have shifted residences, some have moved out of the city, some try to appear as 'straight' as possible and avoid gay bars and hangouts.
Already, Ouna said, they have received more than 10 cases of threats to the security and lives of LGBTQ community members since the Supreme Court judgement, which allowed them to form an association.
“If the government does not protect these people, we will end up having dead bodies,” Ouna said.
The Kenyan Penal Code does not criminalise homosexuality, only homosexual acts, even between consenting adults in private.
However, Anti-LGBTQ Movement chairman Salim Karama on Thursday told the Star the fear of attacks by LGBTQ community members is unfounded.
Karama said no one will be attacked in Friday’s anti-gay protests planned for Mombasa, Lamu and Nairobi under his umbrella.
He said Friday’s demonstrations will involve three groups led by religious leaders from all religions, including Muslims, Christians, Hindus and the Bohora.
They will begin after Jumaa prayers.
In Mombasa, three different groups will march from three different zones and converge at Makadara ground, behind GPO.
One group from the Majengo zone will gather at Sakina Mosque, from where they will make their way to Makadara ground.
The second group will gather at the mosque behind the Fayaza bakery in Kilifi stage near Alidina Visram High School.
The third group will meet at Naivas Likoni and march to Makadara ground.
“It is better for them to come out and condemn the actions and return to the religious ways and the African cultures,” Karama said.