Thursday, July 30, 2015

Q Toon: Kenya Matata

President Obama visited Eastern Africa during this past week, and during a press conference with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi, he was asked about gay rights, which very few African countries respect. He answered:
"If somebody is a law abiding citizen who is going about their business and working in a job and obeying the traffic signs and doing all the other things that good citizens are supposed to do, and not harming anybody, the idea that they are going to be treated differently or abused because of who they love is wrong. Full stop. ... When you start treating people differently not because of any harm they're doing anybody but because they're different, that's the path whereby freedoms begin to erode and bad things happen."
Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
Jul 30, 2015

Under Kenyan law, sexual activity between men is illegal and may result in a prison sentence of up to 14 years. Kenyatta, described by Politico as "clearly uncomfortable, fidgeting at the podium,"  dismissed the topic entirely: "The issue of gay rights is a non-issue."

Given recent events in marriage equality in the United States and the horrible record in many African countries on LGBT rights, that the topic would come up during President Obama's visit was widely anticipated. A planned naked protest against Obama for his pro-gay stand had been canceled hours before his visit. Organizers claimed that 3,600 had signed up to participate in the protest before some unidentified 2:00 in the morning caller persuaded them to cancel.

One shudders to imagine such a protest in this country. I don't want to see thousands of naked Kentucky county clerks, Alabama judges, Mississippi cake bakers, Arkansas florists, Texas legislators, Scott Lively, Franklin Graham and Maggie Gallagher flapping and flopping their way up Pennsylvania Avenue, do you?

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