Prime Minister Raila Odinga
Kenya’s Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, has denied calling for the arrests of gays and lesbians but still believes homosexuality is wrong.
Earlier this week, he was quoted at a rally in Nairobi as saying: “Any man found engaging in sexual activities with another man should be arrested. Men or women found engaging in those acts deserve to be arrested and will be arrested.”
Odinga now claims that he was quoted out of context and that his statements were specifically in connection to same-sex marriage.
“I did not say that police should arrest the gays. I just told the youth that they will be committing a crime by marrying persons of the same sex,” he clarified at the National Dialogue and Reconciliation Conference on Thursday.
Activists have expressed alarm that Odinga’s statements could lead to an increase in homophobia and violence against LGBT people in Kenya.
Homosexuality, referred to as “carnal knowledge against the order of nature”, is illegal in Kenya with penalties of up to 14 years’ imprisonment.