Kenya Bans TV Programs Promoting Homosexuality: What the Country’s Constitution Says About LGBT

Kenya Bans Programs promoting homosexuality… It is no longer news that The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) has banned up to six cartoon channels for promoting homosexuality through some ‘immodest’ themes portrayed in their programs. These programs are aired on channels shown on multinational pay TVs; DStv and GOTV.

Per the KFCB order, Kenya bans programs; Loud House, the Legend of the Korra and Hey Arnold, available on Nickelodeon (DSTV); Clarence, Steven Universe and Adventure Time, available on Cartoon Network. According to KFCB Chief Executive Officer, Ezekiel Mutua the board has written to Multichoice to immediately stop airing the cartoons.

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The aforementioned channels are said to be distributing content glorifying homosexual behavior, which is contrary to the law and the KFCB guidelines. This was clearly stated in a press statement by KFCB dated 15th June 2017, which partly read;

The programs have been rated as suitable for children, yet they contain elements that are intended to introduce Children to deviant behavior, against our moral values and understanding of the institution of marriage

What Motivated the KFCB?

This drastic move by the KFCB was as a result of series of complaints from stakeholders across the country. Ezekiel Mutua, through a statement, said that over time they have received complaints from people that a section of pay TV services is distributing content promoting homosexuality.

Kenya bans programs promoting homosexuality: KFCB Chief Executive, Ezekiel Mutua

These incessant complaints caused the KFCB to undergo intense investigations; after which the board established that the kids’ shows are indeed illegitimate and are currently being aired on DSTV and GOTV, owned by the Multichoice limited.

One of the discoveries made by the KFCB was that such programs like Steven Universe and Adventure Time on Cartoon Network, bear misleading age suitability ratings that are inconsistent with the board’s content classification guidelines. These programs according to the KFCB contain elements that are intended to introduce children to deviant behavior.

What the Kenyan Law Says about Homosexuality

This then brings us to the legal aspect of the development. While it is an already established fact that the kids’ programs contain gay ad obscene themes, we’ll like to have a look at the statutes contained in the Kenyan constitution.

In Kenya, consenting adults can face up to 14 years in prison for having same-sex relations. Kenya’s Penal Code, Section 162 to 165 criminalizes homosexual behavior and attempted homosexual behavior among men, referring to it as “carnal knowledge against the order of nature”.

These defaulters can be imprisoned for up to seven years for merely attempting to have such sexual relations, and up to five years for committing “gross indecency” – a vague offense that is frequently leveled at LGBT people.

This political aversion to homosexuality in the country is portrayed in loathsome gestures reportedly encouraged by authorities, towards periodic eruptions of anti-LGBT violence.

Kenya Bans Programs Promoting Homosexuality: Violence Against Kenya LGBTs

In some parts of Kenya, suspected gay men are subjected to physical attacks which include beatings and even forced anal examinations with the purported aim of proving whether they engaged in the act. A perfect instance is an incident which took place in Kwale County in 2015, where two gay suspects were arrested by the police.

The men who were charged with “unnatural offenses” were violently threatened by authorities who also made them undergo anal tests. This is just one of the very many cases of violence, incitement to violence, and inadequate protection, which threatens the sanity of these individuals.

Moreso, there is also the existence of self-acclaimed prosecutors, who consider themselves vigilantes with the duty to uphold laws that criminalize same-sex relationships. These attackers go as far as engaging in harassment, discrimination and mob violence against LGBT people -an act which has led dozens of gay men and transgender women, fearing violence, to flee their homes.

In Kenya people who are considered “gender non-conforming” are often marginalized and dissociated in the society.

Furthermore, this aversion for such individuals can be said to be far from its end. This is because these various forms of detestations have continued to prevail in most parts of Africa. Kenya is one of 34 African nations where homosexual activity is illegal, with some countries punishing it with life imprisonment or even death.