John M. Becker

Kenyan MP: Homosexuality 'As Serious as Terrorism"

Filed By John M. Becker | March 30, 2014 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Aden Duale, Africa, anti-gay laws, east Africa, false equivalency, Kenya, sodomy ban, sodomy law, terrorism

aden-duale-kenya.jpgKenyan lawmaker Aden Duale (right), the ruling party's official spokesperson in that country's parliament, told colleagues last week that homosexuality is as bad a problem as terrorism.

Duale's remarks came as he briefed fellow members of parliament on the results of an investigation into the country's treatment of LGBT people. That investigation was triggered by a group of lawmakers who earlier this month demanded to know why the Kenyan government was not enforcing the country's colonial-era "jail-the-gays" law and called for stricter penalties for homosexuality.

Despite his outrageously inflammatory words, Duale rejected the call for an anti-LGBT crackdown, saying that current law is sufficiently homophobic.

Reuters reports:

Duale... said: "We need to go on and address this issue the way we want to address terrorism ...

"It's as serious as terrorism. It's as serious as any other social evil," Duale said, referring to a spate of attacks by al Qaeda-linked Somali Islamist militants carried out in retaliation for Kenya's intervention in neighboring Somalia.

But he said the Kenyan constitution and the penal code already had sufficient anti-gay provisions, denying the government was reluctant to tighten such laws for fear of losing international aid.

Duale said 595 cases of homosexuality had been investigated in Kenya since 2010, when a new constitution was adopted, and courts had convicted or acquitted the accused, while police had found no organizations openly championing homosexuality in violation of the law.

"We do not need to go the Uganda way, we have the constitution and the penal code to deal with homosexuality, and so this debate is finished, we will not be enacting any new tougher laws," Duale told Reuters later.

No word on whether or not the Kenyan government plans to resume enforcement of the sodomy law already on the books. If it does, men convicted of consensual gay sex could face up to 14 years' imprisonment.

It's worth pointing out that over the last twenty years, Kenya has experienced several high-profile incidents of international terrorism. These include the 1998 bombing of the U.S. embassy in Nairobi, which killed at least 212 and injured 4,000; anti-Israeli attacks in Mombasa in 2002 that killed 13 and injured 80; and the Westgate Shopping Mall shooting last year, where Islamic terrorists murdered 67 people and injured 175.

That's a pretty gruesome list right there. Just how much of a bigot do you have to be to be able to seriously claim that consensual sex between men is somehow just as bad as these hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries?

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