Aug 19, 2011

No ¨Gay Rights¨ in Kenya: 'HUMAN RIGHTS' is the word we need to adopt in our day to day use

Monica Kareithi is the Assistant Program Officer, LGBTI, Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC). She can be reached via the following address:
¨I would like to inform all persons reading this article that there is no such thing as ‘gay rights’! I have heard this term being bandied about with such impunity that I am beginning to begin to think that we are fighting a losing battle! Why such harsh sentiments?  How do you fight a war, if you do not know what exactly what you are fighting for?

I think that there are a variety of misconceptions in the LGB – T and I community that there are specific rights that are entitled to members of the community because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. I must digress a bit and engage you in a discourse that has been in the forefront of most legal perspectives and this is the discourse around HUMAN RIGHTS. What are human rights? Human rights establish a common standard of how a human being should be treated. They are entitlements which inhere in every person from the moment of birth as a consequence of being human. They are basic standards without which people cannot live in dignity as human beings. These rights are legally guaranteed by law which protects individuals and groups against actions which interfere with fundamental freedoms and human dignity. Human rights are therefore not established by law. They are nonetheless expressed in treaties, customary international law and other sources of law. Human rights laws place obligations on States to act in particular ways and prohibit them from engaging in specific activities which violate human rights. Human rights force us to act responsibly to ensure that the rights of others are not infringed upon.

With this in mind, I think that it is apparent that these rights are granted regardless of your sexual orientation and gender identity. The mere fact that you are a human being entitles you to these rights. I fear that, the more the movement asserts their ‘gay rights’ the more they pick only certain specific rights that they claim. In essence, this only serves to further the stigmatization of the community. The society, wrongly so, assume that LBG-T-I communities are trying to assert rights over and above the ‘human rights’ that we are all entitled to enjoy. This misconception also serves to further isolate the social movement rather than form much needed recognition and association in order to build solidarity from other human rights organizations...¨  please read it all, HERE

·  Thanks to Gay Kenya, sidebar
·  Thanks to Monica Kareithi,
·  Thanks to Denis Nzioka

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