Kenya’s High court will on Friday rule on a case challenging colonial-era laws that criminalize homosexuality. The petitioners want the court to declare those laws unconstitutional in hopes that will make life easier for the country’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.
Stanely Muasa, a gay man living in Kenya, said going to parties or events alone is always a risky affair. It is safer if he is in a group of two or three people, he said. In the past, he has been attacked by strangers — an experience shared by many gays and lesbians in Kenya, he said.
He is hoping that on Friday, Kenya’s High court will overturn the law that he said has fuelled homophobia for decades. The laws he refers to are the sections of the penal code that make gay sex a crime.
“There is no way someone is going to traumatize you, yet you have a right to go to any police station or any facility that gives justice. So it will change, everything will change, even police officers how they carry [treat] key populations, it will have to change,” said Muasa.
In 2016, three Kenyan gay rights organizations filed petitions with the High court asking it to declare sections 162 (a) and (c) and section 165 of the Penal Code unconstitutional.
The organizations argue the laws violate the right to privacy, the right to freedom of expression, the right to health, the right to human dignity and the right to freedom from discrimination.
Court hearings began in February 2018.