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WINGS

After ten years of appeals, Kenya’s Supreme Court ruled in Feb­ru­ary 2023 that orga­ni­za­tions with words like les­bian and gay in the title are allowed to reg­is­ter as NGOs. How­ev­er, same-sex sex­u­al rela­tions have been ille­gal since the British occu­pa­tion. This win has set off a fright­en­ing back­lash against already mar­gin­al­ized sex­u­al minori­ties. Activist and advo­cate Esther Nal­i­ma gives a detailed por­trait of the haz­ards for such indi­vid­u­als. She says peo­ple have a right to express their feel­ings but not when it harms oth­ers’ rights, and that holy books don’t only talk about sex they talk about love. Clips from the banned les­bian film Rafi­ki are included.

Esther Neli­ma is a legal offi­cer and health advo­cate with the HIV & AIDS peo­ple Alliance of Kenya, and a prac­ti­tion­er of the Sex Rights Africa method­ol­o­gy for edu­cat­ing lead­ers and the pub­lic to be account­able for their atti­tudes around sex­u­al health