LGBTQ+ Kenyans say they are living in fear after a pro-gay court ruling triggered an outpouring of abuse and death threats, while an anti-gay bill in neighbouring Uganda has stoked a rise in hate incidents, according to East African activists.
Kenyan rights campaigners said some religious and political leaders are whipping up a homophobic backlash to the court ruling, which has led to calls for tougher laws against gay sex and a surge of abuse against sexual minorities. “I’ve stopped going out, especially at night.
It’s better not to attract attention these days,” Martin, a 33-year-old gay Kenyan web developer, told Openly by phone from his flat in the outskirts of Nairobi. “If you go online, read the newspapers or even watch the TV shows, there are many people insulting the LGBTQ community and calling us ‘demons’ and ‘paedophiles’.
Lots of us are scared and are just keeping a low profile.” Abuse has increased since Kenya’s top court ruled that the government must allow the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission to register as a non-governmental organisation, said Irũngũ Houghton, head of Amnesty International Kenya.