Up to 5000 naked protesters are set to welcome President Barrack Obama when he visits Kenya this week. The protesters will be protesting against plans by the U.S. President to talk on gay rights in a fiercely conservative Christian nation. Homophobia is the order of the day in the East African nation. Members of the LGBT community face rampant discrimination, abuse and even rape to “cure them.” President Obama’s visit may just offer a new way of thinking about the sidelined and oppressed community in Kenya.
President Obama is set to jet into Kenya on Friday and as reports indicate, he will be greeted by 5000 “completely naked” protesters. The protesters will line the streets of Nairobi, the nation’s capital, publicly opposing Obama’s “open and aggressive support for homosexuality.”
The naked protests will be organized by the Republican Liberty Party, a largely ardent conservative party known for its crude tactics of getting its points across. Their main objective for the march will be to make Obama “see and understand the difference between a man and woman."
Homosexuality is illegal in Kenya and is punishable by up to 14 years in prison. A report by Pew Global Attitudes Project reported that up to 96 per cent of the nation’s people were against homosexuality. So bad is the stigma associated with being gay that members of the community hide their habits for fear of victimization or even rape to “cure them”, as reports indicate.
The decision to protest against the perceived pro gay stand by Obama comes hot on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that allowed marriage between gay persons in the U.S. Following POTUS’ open support of the decision, anti gay crusaders have warned Obama not to delve into the sensitive topic, one that the White House has shown no sign of shying away from.
So eager are the protesters to display their pompous bravado that they held a warning demonstration on Monday. According to a local news outlet, the enraged members shouted, “We do not want Obama and Obama, we do not want Michelle and Michelle. We want Obama and Michelle and we want a child!” while carrying anti gay placards.
The country’s leadership seemed to be in support of the protest. Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto, who is on trial for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court, recently told worshippers that homosexuality was an act “against the plan of God.” He added, "Those who want to engage in those things can go to those countries and not ours."
The visit by POTUS to his father’s native country has sparked a huge frenzy in the East African country. After the SCOTUS ruling, focus has been drawn to Obama’s agenda, which has caused the largely anti gay population to predict he may delve into the controversial topic. It remains to be seen whether POTUS will heed their warnings or will stand his ground in a country where being gay can earn you 14 years in prison or an even worse fate at the hands of an enraged public.