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US Embassy in Kenya Gets Prideful

US Embassy in Kenya Gets Prideful

 

The US Embassy in Kenya is believed to have given the country its first Pride with a small event that was held on Tuesday.

Reports Voice of America:

On Tuesday morning the embassy [in Kenya's capital Nairobi] presented what is thought to be the first LGBT Pride celebration in Kenya, where homosexual acts are punishable by law.  Similar events are being held at U.S. embassies around the world.  The push to promote global LGBT rights follows several victories for gay rights advocates in the U.S. over the past year.

[...]

John Haynes, a public affairs officer at the U.S. embassy, introduced the event. “The U.S. government for its part has made it clear that the advancement of human rights for LGBT people is central to our human rights policies around the world and to the realization of our foreign policy goals,” he said.

Many Kenyan LGBT rights advocates welcomed the move as a quiet marker of visibility for the LGBT community. However, there was some opposition among certain gay rights campaigners who feared that this open advocacy may lead to a crackdown by local officials.

To contextualize, the Kenyan Penal Code provides for up to 14 years imprisonment for a man having “carnal knowledge” of another man. Non-consensual same-sex activity, that is to say in cases of rape or, and more problematic, cases where so-called intimidation has occurred, could lead to a maximum 21-year sentence.

While these higher provisions are relatively rarely invoked, the air of denunciation and marginalization they create is a strong deterrent in itself that prevents LGBTs from even wanting to be visible, meaning they will often not even seek assistance in an emergency.

The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has made the promotion of global LGBT rights a recurring theme at many of her speaking engagements, saying that the Obama administration wishes to advance human rights for all regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

Most recently, the Secretary of State recorded a video celebrating this June’s Pride celebrations in which she reiterated a commitment to the goal of global nondiscrimination.

 

Related Reading:

Happy Pride Month from President Obama!

White House Launches Pride Month Video Challenge

Obama’s LGBT Pride Month Speech (VIDEO)

 

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Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to Datchler.

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8 comments

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11:50AM PDT on Jun 30, 2012

It makes me proud of my president and his administration.

10:11AM PDT on Jun 30, 2012

Well done, Secretary Clinton!!!

10:06AM PDT on Jun 30, 2012

Wow, I never though this would happen! Good job. :)

7:17AM PDT on Jun 30, 2012

Kudos to Clinton for showing this marvelous world leadership!

6:49AM PDT on Jun 30, 2012

The Universe is unfolding as it should.

4:59AM PDT on Jun 30, 2012

Yay!

3:00AM PDT on Jun 30, 2012

Great

6:42PM PDT on Jun 29, 2012

I bet the republicans are hating this!

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