Kenyan Court Allows Gay Rights Group and US: Supreme Court to Hear Marriage Equality Case

By Junior Mayema,

Homophobia was brought to Africa during colonization and nowadays American religious extremists are the main cause of the escalation of new anti-gay laws across Africa and around the world.

Most of African countries have protection of minorities in constitutions including the african commission on human and people’s rights has a resolution for the protection LGBT Africans,  the escalation of homophobia nowadays is because of religious extremism from the USA here are two good news from my continent :

Kenyan Court Allows Gay Rights Group

http://www.voanews.com/content/kenyan-court-allows-gay-rights-group/2737202.html

FILE - Kenya gay and lesbian activists conceal their identity behind masks to protest a wave of laws against homosexuality in African countries.

Kenya’s High Court has ordered the government to register a gay rights group that the government had earlier refused to recognize on moral and religious grounds.

The court said Monday that the Kenyan constitution recognizes and protects the rights of minorities and does not allow limitations on moral grounds.

“In Kenya, the constitution is supreme,” the three judge panel said. “The state has to act within the confines of what the law allows and cannot rely on religious texts or its views of what the moral and religious convictions of Kenyans are to justify the limitation of a right.”

The judgment followed a petition by a Kenyan activist, Eric Gitari, to register a non-governmental organization whose objective was to protect the human rights of gays and lesbians.  Gitari took his case to court in September 2013 after a government board rejected his application.

Some Kenyan lawmakers say they want to pass a motion to compel authorities to more strongly enforce the country’s anti-homosexual laws.

In neighboring Uganda, the government recently passed a law in defiance of Western pressure to criminalize homosexual acts with a life sentence.  The Ugandan Supreme Court overruled the measure based on a technicality, saying the bill passed in parliament without enough members present for a quorum.  Government officials say they will make another attempt to crack down on homosexuality.

And here is another good news below:

Coalition of African Lesbians given observer status at African human rights commission – See more at: https://denisnzioka.co.ke/coalition-of-african-lesbians-given-observer-status-at-african-human-rights-commission/#sthash.MZ2Uct4C.dpuf

Banjul, GAMBIA

The Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL) has been granted observer status at the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) after seven years of being turned down.

The decision which was arrived at on 25th April was in response to an application filed in August 2014.

CAL’s initial request for observer status was made in 2008 but was turned down in October 2010 with ACHPR stating that the organisation did not promote and protect any of the rights enshrined in the African Charter on Human Rights.

The new development not only provides a platform for further advancement of women’s rights notwithstanding of their gender identity or sexual orientation but also creates a sustainable platform for dialogue between Commission and CAL.

cal_photo_flickrCAL is the first NGO handling the rights of sexual minorities to be officially recognized by African Commission and being granted Observer Status.

In a statement released by CAL after being grated Observer Status, they expressed their gratitude to AC for showing commitment to uphold human as demands the principles of the African Charter on Human Right  which states: “Every individual shall be entitled to the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms recognized and guaranteed in the present Charter without distinction of any kind such as race, ethnic group, colour, sex, language, religion, political or any other opinion, national and social origin, fortune, birth or other status.”

CAL consists of 19 organisations whose mission is to ‘transform Africa into a continent where lesbian and bisexual women and gender non-conforming people enjoy the full range of human rights, secure in the knowledge that we they are recognized as full persons and citizens, with rich and diverse cultures, and enjoy a significant and respected presence in all spheres of life’.

CAL comprises of member organisations from South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda Tanzania, Burundi, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Lesotho Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique and Rwanda.

– See more at: https://denisnzioka.co.ke/coalition-of-african-lesbians-given-observer-status-at-african-human-rights-commission/#sthash.MZ2Uct4C.dpuf

Down here are recent developments regarding the freedom to marry for samesex couples here in America:

The United States Supreme Court should consider the same-sex marriage practices of other countries when it hears arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges on April 28, 2015, Human Rights Watch said today.

The United States is not the first western country to do allow samesex marriage, many western countries do including its neighbor country Canada

Here is the recommendation of the rights group Human rights Watch below:

http://www.hrw.org/news/2015/04/27/us-supreme-court-hear-marriage-equality-case-3

(Washington, DC) – The United States Supreme Court should consider the same-sex marriage practices of other countries when it hears arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges on April 28, 2015, Human Rights Watch said today. In March, Human Rights Watch submitted an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief along with the New York City Bar Association and several nongovernmental organizations based in other countries.

“The Supreme Court will be hearing constitutional arguments about same-sex marriage, but the justices should be attuned to the acceptance of marriage equality abroad,” said Graeme Reid, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights director at Human Rights Watch. “The experiences of countries where marriage equality is already a reality can bring a fuller understanding of what’s at stake.”

The case will consider whether the US Constitution requires US states to license two people of the same sex to marry. The brief asks the court to consider countries such as Argentina, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and South Africa, which provide marriage licenses or similar regulatory permission to people of the same sex to marry. In establishing these policies, the governments and courts of these countries weighed legal and constitutional questions similar to those now before the US Supreme Court.

The court is expected to hand down its ruling in June.

“Despite many predictions to the contrary, in the 18 countries where same-sex marriage has been legalized, life has continued as before with greater respect for everyone’s rights,” Reid said.

According to some sources the Supreme Court will expedite posting audio & transcript of tomorrows historic marriage equality oral arguments by 2PM EST on their website :http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_argume…/argument_audio.aspx

I am going to keep in the loop the website of highest court of the land and constantly looping and keep the justices on my radars for human rights of all once and for all and have Good news for my inspirational Blog

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