Excellent news to report from Kenya. One month ago, R20 posted on the backlash surrounding the selection process and pro-LGBT views of two leading reformers nominated to head to the Supreme Court. Both nominees were confirmed on Thursday and will join the court on Monday, reports Capitol FM.
The President gazetted Dr Mutunga as CJ alongside his Deputy Nancy Baraza and the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko, hours after Members of Parliament approved the nominees after an acrimonious vetting process. A statement from State House indicated that the President had also gazetted the five names of Supreme Court judges whose nominations were approved on Thursday by the Judicial Service Commission. .... According to the statement, the new officers will be sworn into office on Monday next week.
Mutunga and Baraza have pro-LGBT histories and that background—and Mutunga's habit of wearing a diamond stud in one ear—became a lightning bolt for church and anti-gay activists. Law professor Mutunga supported the creation of one of Kenya's first LGBT groups. Baraza is completing a doctoral thesis on sexual minority rights.
More at LGBT Asylum News ...
Kenya's government is considered moderate on gay rights. But there has been a backlash against calls to decriminalize homosexuality in the East African nation, such as one cabinet minister's recent proposal to scrap the nation's sodomy laws. Last November, Prime Minister Raila Odinga called for the mass arrests of gays at a political rally and later retracted his statements.
At the XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna last July, African and Kenyan HIV/AIDS activists credited Nairobi for some advances and were cautiously optimistic. "Kenya was the first African nation to include MSM in their national HIV strategy," Nairobi-based peer educator Job Akuno told R20, Black AIDS Weekly and MSNBC in Vienna. "That was in 2006. But ... it seems like we are rolling back on some of the gains that we made."
Some Background ...
Controversy in Kenya After Pro LGBT Nominees
Kenyan Prime Minister: "All Gays Should Be Arrested"
AIDS 2010: Joel Nana on African Gay/Bi Men, HIV
WATCH: CNN Surveys Gay Rights in SA, Kenya, Cuba
Kenyan Gays Demand Protection After Brutal Assault
Kenya: "Things are Changing in Favor of Gays"
Homosexuality is Un-African?