US President, Barack Obama, has responded to remarks made by Kenya’s Deputy President, William Ruto, concerning homosexuals.
According to Nairobi News, Ruto warned Obama not to advocate for rights of gays and lesbians in during his trip to Kenya.
President Obama, during an interview with the BBC ahead of his arrival in Kenya later Friday night, said he disagreed with Ruto’s remarks.
Here’s part of the BBC interview:
BBC’s Jon Sopel: “I’m going to suggest there may be one other difficult issue when you’re there. And that’s the issue of homosexuality, gay marriage, after the Supreme Court ruling. I mean, the deputy president in Kenya, who you’re going to meet, Mr Ruto, he said – “We have heard that in the US they have allowed gay relations and other dirty things.”
Obama: “Yeah. Well, I disagree with him on that, don’t I? And I’ve had this experience before when we’ve visited Senegal in my last trip to Africa. I think that the president there President Sall, is doing a wonderful job in moving the country forward – a strong democrat. But in a press conference, I was very blunt about my belief that everybody deserves fair treatment, equal treatment in the eyes of the law and the state.”
Early this month, DP Ruto said homosexuality has no place in the Kenyan society terming the practice as “unchristian”.
“Homosexuality is against the plan of God, God did not create man and woman so that men would marry men and women marry women.
“We have heard that in US they have allowed gay relations and other dirty things, I want to say as a Christian leader that we will defend our country Kenya, we will stand for our faith and our country,” Mr Ruto told a church congregation.
President Uhuru Kenyatta had said gay rights will not be on the agenda in the bilateral talks he will hold with President Obama.
But the US President said he would talk about it during his trip to Kenya.
“I am not a fan of discrimination and bullying of anybody on the basis of race, on the basis of religion, on the basis of sexual orientation or gender. And I think that this is actually part and parcel of the agenda that’s also going to be front and centre, and that is how are we treating women and girls,” he said.
“And as somebody who has family in Kenya and knows the history of how the country so often is held back because women and girls are not treated fairly, I think those same values apply when it comes to different sexual orientations.”
Biggest security operation in Kenya’s history
Meanwhile, the biggest security operation in Kenya’s history is under way as the vulnerable east African nation prepares to welcome its “son” for the first time since he reached the White House.
Months back, Al Shabaab militants murdered 148 people at a university in Garissa, while an attack on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall left at least 67 people dead less than two years ago.
With this history in mind, Secret Service has been busy in Nairobi examining hotels while Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, usually stationed at the US military base in Djibouti, flew over Nairobi this week alongside a White Hawk helicopter with presidential insignia.
Other military helicopters have been flown in reportedly from a US special forces facility at Kenya’s Manda Bay base, from which raids on al-Shabaab militants in Somalia are launched.
Kenya’s civil aviation authority announced that national airspace would be closed for 50 minutes on arrival and 40 minutes on departure.
Obama will then be chauffeured in his $1.5m bomb-proof limousine, dubbed “the Beast”.
Around 10,000 police officers – roughly a quarter of the national force – were being deployed in the capital and several major roads would be closed to all but emergency and security vehicles.