The marriage of Kenyan gay couple Charles Ngengi to his longtime partner Daniel Chege Gichia in London last Saturday may have been considered one of many same-sex unions that have taken place since the U.K. enacted civil partnerships in 2005, but in their native Kenya the nuptials have been called "un-African" and have been met with overt hatred.
Leading the way in the public persecution of the happily married couple is The Daily Nation, one of Kenya's popular newspapers. In an outright homophobic and offensive piece penned by Daily Nation writers Gitau Wa Njenga and Gakhia Weru the couple and their relationship is repeatedly referred to as "bizarre" and "unusual" and Gichia is referred to as the "bride".
The writers also go out of their way to report that their 30-minute ceremony was absent of any religious elements and the families of both men were "conspicuously absent" obviously implying shame as the reason for their absence.
From The Daily Nation:
Sources close to the couple told the Nation in London on Saturday that despite widespread condemnations, the couple was ‘happy and very much in love’. “Chege and Ngengi are in love, and they have decided to ‘publicly declare their love’ within the legal framework of this country,” said a source who sought anonymity.
Another Kenyan said: “It time the Kenyan community woke up to reality, some of us are gay; Kenyans have to get over it.”
Kenyans won't be getting over it any time soon and their laws reflect the violent and homophobic attitude towards gay men. The penalty for "homosexual offenders" in Kenya is 5 to 14 years in prison.
It struck me how similar the negative attitudes are towards homosexuality in Africans and African-Americans. Many of whom base their hatred and intolerance on their religious views and the belief that homosexuality has been forced upon us by other races and are not a natural occurrence in people of color. The nearly 200 comments on this article echoes this ridiculous point of view.
I highly recommend that you read the article in full and the comments if you can digest that much hatred. In 2009 stories like this persist and it's simply baffling to me.