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Christian churches and U.S.-based anti-gay promotion in Kenya

By Antoine Craigwell

Flag of Kenya

Following on reports of mob beatings and killings of men suspected of being gay, Christian evangelists intending to stir up anti-gay sentiment are distributing images of prominent gay and lesbian rights activists in Kenya on posters accompanied by biblical texts in Swahili to rural parts of the country. The posters, calling homosexuals “Shogas” carry not only the images of gays and lesbians, but also a simulated drawing of two people engaged in anal sex in a circle with a line through it, contact information of the person, and biblical texts in Swahili.

NOT WANTED poster featuring David Kuria Mbote

NOT WANTED poster featuring David Kuria Mbote

According to the Website,, whose editor, Jonathan O’Toole, is a Kansas City, MO-resident, lists among its U.S. members Michael Bray, author of a book against abortion, “A Time to Kill” of Wilmington, OH, and Neal Horsley of Carrollton, GA, a contributing editor and a candidate for governor of his home state. From Kenya, the site lists: Pastor Peter Bushnell, The Ark of Kenya, of Nakuru; Patrick Kingori, Nairobi Coordinator, Nairobi; and Robert Wakhu, Eldoret Coordinator, Eldoret, and calls on Kenyans to contact their respective government ministers, listing contact information for all ministers, “Respectfully ask them to enforce the Penal Code against Illegal Abortionists and Illegal Sodomy”

Travel and tourism Website defaced by protesters

While the posters are not confined to Kenyans, it draws on the images of Kenneth Hieber of NYC and Arthur Frommer, who are involved with, a travel and tourism Website for gay and lesbian travel to Africa, accusing them of exporting homosexuality to Africa. On the “” Website there is an image of Jesus, taken from the Shroud of Turin, superimposed over the continent of Africa, while an image of the devil, with horns, is over the continent of America.

Images of devil and Christ on U.S. and Africa

The site prominently displays posters of Kenyan gay and lesbian activists with the title “NOT WANTED” along with full contact information and biblical texts in Swahili. One poster, for example, lists David Kuria Mbote, who is the director of Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya, as a “Shoga” in Nairobi, and using references to the Book of Leviticus, advocates death to all gays and lesbians in Swahili:

“Kama mwanaume akikutana kimwili na mwanaume mwenzake kama vile mwanaume afanyavyo na mwanamke, wanaume hao wawili wamefanya lililo chukizo sana. Lazima wauawe, nayo damu yao itakuwa juu ya vichwa vyao wenyewe,” which according to a translation by Dr. Paul Semugoma, from Kampala, Uganda loosely translates to: “If a man sleeps with another man like he sleeps with a woman, both men have done something extremely bad. It is a must for them to be killed, and their blood shall be on their own heads.” Leviticus 20:13

On Mar 10, Mbote had written and published a letter repudiating the anti-homosexuality activities of many Kenyan pastors and the developing crisis in Mtwapa, Kenya, including an article by Fr. Dominic Waweru, published on Mar 8 in the Daily Nation, where he reportedly said that the attacks on young people on suspicion of being gay is “only too comprehensible”. In his article, Mbote told a story of a young man who was suddenly caught up in a mob frenzy and his life saved by a prostitute throwing herself over him and covering him from being set alight. Mbote referred to the statement made on World AIDS Day, last December, by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, who called for an end to the criminalization of homosexuality, which Ban said, made it more difficult to combat AIDS.

“It should be noted that compulsory heterosexuality has never

Map of Kenya

converted any one from homosexuality, but in the context of modern diseases, the African community continues to place itself in a curiously unintelligent position. By affirming what is globally known to be an alternative and legitimate form of sexual expression for a minority within any population to be unAfrican, they are saying that the African falls beyond the ambit of what is human. Instead of giving tacit approval to violence against gays, churches should be in the forefront preaching reconciliation and love to even those who they regard as “sinners”. Gay rights activism has reached a point of no return even in Africa, events in Malawi, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Zambia, and Mtwapa notwithstanding. It’s unfortunate that the Church stands at the vanguard for this extremely unjust violation of rights of gays, lesbians, transgender and intersex Kenyans,” Mbote wrote.

Mount Kenya homestead - Joseph Muchina

In an email circulating in African LGBT online chat groups about the posters, Mbote said, “I don’t know whether this is an appropriate request, but am requesting you to keep in your prayers – they are putting up this poster [with a picture of him] in Eldoret, a town in Rift Valley, I have no business to visit, but you can never know with these crazies.”

Semugoma commenting on the posters that published biblical texts in Swahili, that death is in order for gays and lesbians, said, “Encouraging these postings in a place like Kenya presents a very real and potentially harmful threat to their targets. They have put individual faces and in some cases contact information on the posters, placing some people at potentially immediate risk.”

Semugoma said that he is aware that there is no legal recourse to stop those in the U.S., since the campaign and Website are organized and financed by Americans advocating public humiliation, mental and physical harm to people in Kenya, and asked if those responsible could be brought under criminal charges.

“What can we do? We can’t let this sit and get out of hand, before this gets somebody killed. Who will be next, me, you?” He asked.


March 13, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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