By Thom Senzee
Originally published on Advocate.com July 07 2014 7:52 PM ET
Sixty people have been arrested at Club Envy in Nairobi for "suspected homosexuality," according to Pink News and Towleroad, both of which cite a Kenyan entertainment news website as their source.
"The arrests at Envy had nothing to do with Mututho law but just trying to suppress the visibility of gays and lesbians," recording artists and LGBT advocate Joji Baro reportedly told Ghafla, the Kenyan site.
Mututho laws regulate alcohol sales in Kenya.
"So finally someone just realized gays and lesbians have money and they know where to spend it…" Baro continued, according to Ghafla. "Just a remainder of the little rights we enjoy — we have a right to spend our money where and whenever we want to."
Although generally considered safer than neighboring Uganda, which has a punishing antigay law that has pushed hundreds of LGBT refugees into Kenya, the latter African nation has a remnant colonial-era law against "buggery," which outlaws sexual activity between people of the same sex. As recently as 2010, Raila Odinga, then Kenya's prime minister, called for the arrest of "all gays." Odinga later rescinded that call.
Today's news of the arrests in Nairobi comes in the shadow of international headlines reporting 29 dead along Kenya's tourist-heavy eastern coastline, possibly at the hands of Somali terrorist group Al Shabab, according to the Los Angeles Times.