Prime Minister Raila Odinga said that he did not plan to order the arrest of all gay men and lesbians, and that his recent comments were merely intended to illustrate antigay propaganda.
Posted on Advocate.com December 02, 2010
Kenya PM Takes Back Gay Threats
By Julie Bolcer
Prime Minister Raila Odinga said that he did not plan to order the arrest of all gay men and lesbians, and that his recent comments were merely intended to illustrate antigay propaganda. Activists in the African country were panicked Sunday when the prime minister said in a public address that the new constitution called for the widespread arrest of gay men and lesbians. He also questioned why homosexuality was “necessary,” given that a recent census showed the populations of men and women to be equal.
Capital FM Kenya reports that Odinga walked backed the comments Thursday, saying that he was misquoted and declaring, “I understand there are gay rights.”
“The Premier, who was speaking during the opening session of the review on Kenya’s progress two years after the National Dialogue and Reconciliation Accord was signed, also argued that he was only highlighting some of the half truths that were used during the referendum campaigns,” reported the station.
Odinga added, “It was said that I ordered the arrest of gay people but nothing could be further from the truth. I did not say that. I was just explaining the propaganda used by people who were campaigning against the new constitution.”
Prime Minister Odinga continued to stress that same-sex marriage is illegal under the new Kenyan constitution, however.
His weekend comments prompted concern given reports of antigay mob attacks in Kenya earlier this year, and the pending legislation in neighboring Uganda that calls for the death penalty for gay people.