Day 3: Lesbian and Gay Rights argued as vital & equal as any other human right Print E-mail

Tuesday January 23 2007

Deliberations on homosexuality attract huge crowds at forum

By JOHN KORIR

THE World Social Forum entered its third day yesterday with various international organisations participating at the global event continuing with their deliberations.

The venue where gays and lesbians made their deliberations attracted huge crowds, with curious participants trying to know more of the often shunned sexual orientation.

The groups are meeting under the auspices of Gay and Lesbians Coalition of Kenya ( GLCK). The groups have invited international personalities involved in the movement. They pronounced publicly that they are gay and lesbians and that what they need is recognition and accommodation from the rest of the community.

Dorothy Aken’Ova, Executive Director of an NGO dealing with sexual rights in Nigeria said the two sexual groups should not be discriminated against by the society.

She said it was sad that gays and lesbians were being molested as if they were lesser human beings, pointing out that their human rights should be not violated just because of their sexual orientation.

The Director told the participants that back in her home country, a Bill seeking to criminalise the practice has been introduced in Parliament.

She said if the Bill is passed into law, gays and lesbians and all those who associate with them are liable to prosecution and if convicted to serve a minimum sentence of not less than five years. “You can imagine how terrible that law is. If we were in Nigeria, now all of us who are advocating for this kind of thing will be thrown into jail,” she said.

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Wednesday January 24 2007

Homosexuals want to be let to marry

By JOHN KORIR

Kenyan gays and lesbians yesterday issued a powerful petition for the legalisation of same sex marriages in the country as the World Social Forum (WSF) entered its third day.

Rallying under the aegis of Gay and Lesbians Coalition of Kenya (GLCK), they said sexual rights were as vital as any other human right and should be recognised in the Constitution.

They further argued that homosexuality was not foreign to African culture as widely perceived.

“The old African generation had a rich vocabulary to describe homosexual activity, which the current generations lack. Churches and mosques have however systematically destroyed our indigenous socialisation structures leading to a lack of information about our culture,” Dorothy Aken’Ova stated in her address on ‘Reclaiming Our Sexuality.’

Maria Berenice Dias, a Brazilian Court of Appeal judge, described her efforts to have third world countries allow homosexuals incorporated in the family law. “I propose that homosexual couples be allowed to adopt children whom they can pass over their wealth to when they die. Currently, homosexuals are buried with all their worldly fortunes,” she said. The homosexuals wore black T-shirts with the message “We’re here, We’re queer, We’re proud” embedded on a Kenyan map.