Kenya's Republican Liberty Party has announced it will protest President Obama's upcoming visit by marching naked through the streets of Nairobi. Organizers say they expect 5,000 people to participate.
Party leader Vincent Kidala told police that the group will hold its "peaceful procession" of "totally naked" Kenyans on July 22 and 23, to "demonstrate the difference between men and women." Kidala told the Nigerian Premium Times English language newspaper that the group will activate a "network of prostitutes" willing to walk naked through the city and that over 1,000 sex workers have already signed up to participate.
Kenyan LGBT activist Denis Nzioka, however, told Gay Star News that Kidala is bluffing.
"This is a kneejerk reaction after only 25 showed up at their last homophobic rally," he said. "I’m trying to figure out how exactly they figure 5,000 people will show up with no clothes on to protest Obama and gay rights. This time, not even 25 people will show up."
"They want to show to the people and to Obama the 'differences' between men and women, that a penis enters a vagina. That’s how they think, and that’s how stupid and ridiculous and ignorant this is. The Republican Liberty Party [is] just trying to stay relevant."
The party's latest gambit comes in response to the White House announcement that President Obama will address LGBT rights in his speech to the African nation. Kenyan lawmakers and religious leaders have tried to issue a gag order preventing Obama from speaking about the subject, but White House spokesperson Josh Earnest told reporters last week that the President will not be dissuaded from broaching the topic.
"Obviously, we have been clear that when the president travels around the world, he does not hesitate to raise concerns about human rights," Earnest said. "I’m confident that the president will not hesitate to make clear that the protection of basic universal human rights in Kenya is also a priority and consistent with the values that we hold dear here in the United States of America."
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta shot down the request to censor President Obama, telling reporters that Obama is free to champion LGBT rights if he chooses.
Read the letter announcng the protest below.