By Thom Senzee
Originally published on Advocate.com August 15 2014 5:00 AM ET
The chilling, yet familiar language of homophobia in east Africa is now percolating in Kenya, where a popular musician petitioned members for a law that sentences foreigners to death-by-stoning for "aggravated homosexuality," according to multiple reports.
The bill's author, Edward Onwong’a Nyakeriga, said it's needed "to protect children," especially because of "increasing attempts by homosexuals to raise children in homosexual relationships through adoption, foster care or otherwise,” reports PinkNews. Nyakeriga is a leader of Kenya's Republican Liberal Party, which holds no seats in parliament nor any local or regional seat of power, according to the Diaspora Messenger.
While Kenya's National Assembly has a so-called antigay caucus, resistance persists to the brutal nature of Nyakeriga's proposed "Stone-the-Gays" law, according to the Diaspora Messenger. The leader of the antigay caucus, Irungu Kangata, is quoted saying that while he is “100 percent anti-gay” the proposed penalties are "out of sync with modern thinking."
Bishop Joseph Wasonga of the Anglican Church of Kenya echoed that sentiment, telling the Diaspora Messenger that, “In my view, stoning is too extreme. Even God does not want a sinner to die, but for one to repent and live."
Existing Kenyan law already criminalizes sodomy as a felony as a holdover from the country's days as a British colony. However, there is no specific mention of homosexuality in the sodomy law, nor is a death penalty prescribed as punishment.
Unconfirmed reports by Gay Star News and others say Nyakeriga's proposed bill has already been determined unconstitutional by a parliamentary committee that considers the viability of such petitions.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta was among those who attended last week's U.S.-Africa Summit in Washington, D.C. and met top Obama officials.