Ban of gay video in Kenya a test for local policy

By Gatonye Gathura
A senior government official in Nairobi has banned the distribution of a music video which purports to advocate for the rights of gays.
The ban by the Kenya Film Classification Board on Wednesday contradicts the Ministry of Health which actively promotes the rights of gays.
The ban of ‘Same Love (Remix)’ by the Art Attack band, which claims to advocate for the rights of gays comes at a time Kenya is to share in a US$10.5 million kitty from the Global Fund for the same purpose.
Already the Ministry of Health is running specialized medical clinics – Sex Worker Outreach Programme (SWOP) – for these groups across the country.
Through the programme the government is providing free medical services, condoms, lubricants and a clean needle exchange programme for drug injectors.
Justifying the ban, the Film Board’s CEO Ezekiel Mutua said same sex is illegal in Kenya and it was his responsibility to uphold the law.
While Mutua may find it technologically difficulty if not impossible to effect the ban he will also have to contend with well funded pro-gay civil groups which have the blessings of the Ministry of Health.
Kenya is among 10 African countries expected to share in a US$ 10.5 million grant from the Global Fund mainly to push for the rights of gay and homosexuals.
The grant to be overseen by the United Nations Development Programme will be implemented in Kenya by the litigatious Nairobi based KELIN. A civil group indicated to fight for health rights.
Initially the money will be used in assessing discriminative laws and assisting in strategic litigations. The programme was expected to begin in January.
Even as he was engaging President Uhuru Kenyatta on gay issues during his July visit to Nairobi, US President Barack Obama was already financing the development of a gay advocacy manual for the region.
The manual (pictured) which was finalized in September last year, is indicated to have been financed by President Obama through the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
The manual, available online, is designed as the bible with which to convert Sub-Saharan African countries to legally appreciate gays.
Rocket Science

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