On Friday, 24 April 2015, a court in Kenya found that the failure by a government agency to register a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights NGO, on the basis that homosexuality is criminalised in the East African country, was unconstitutional. The responsible agency was ordered to register the NGO, in what is a major legal victory in Kenya and the continent.
The case was brought by local activist Eric Gitari, represented by his counsel Sande Ligunya.
Kenya retains British colonial laws criminalising same-sex sexual conduct between consenting adults in private, as do 80% of Commonwealth countries that inherited similar discriminatory laws.
The Trust’s Legal Director, Téa Braun said “This is a decisive victory for human rights and the rule of law. Freedom of association is a basic right we all share and to deny some people the right to organise, advocate and discuss issues of common concern simply because they are gay or lesbian is an affront to their dignity. We congratulate Kenya’s defenders of human rights on their victory.”
The written judgment of the High Court of Kenya at Nairobi in the case (Eric Gitari v Non-Governmental Organisations Co-ordination Board & others, Petition no. 440 of 2013) is available here.