We agree with the Supreme Court on the decision pertaining to the registration of the LGBTQ community as an NGO.
The main issue for determination by the Supreme Court was whether the decision of the Executive Director of the NGO Coordination Board not to register the LGBTQ Community as an NGO violated Article 36 of the Constitution.
Article 36 of the Constitution expressly provides for the registration of an association of any kind Supreme Court of Kenya
Article 36 of the Constitution expressly provides for the registration of an association of any kind, and that the only group limitations on the freedom of association envisioned by the Constitution is restricted to persons serving in the Kenya Defence Forces or the National Police Service in accordance with Article 24 (5) (b) of the Constitution. If the drafters of the Constitution intended to restrict the freedom of association of LGBTIQ persons or any other group of persons, they would have expressly included that group in Article 24(5) of the Constitution.
We agree with the Supreme Court majority decision that the LGBTQ group CANNOT BE EXCLUDED from the definition under Article 36. Sub-Article (3) requires that any legislation that requires registration of an association of any kind shall provide that registration may not be withheld or withdrawn unreasonably.
The right to form an association is an inherent part of the right to freedom of association guaranteed to every person regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status.
People in Kenya and around the world face violence and inequality – and sometimes torture, even execution – because of whom they love, how they look, or who they are. Sexual orientation and gender identity are integral aspects of ourselves and should never lead to discrimination or abuse.
Everyone should be able to feel proud of who they are and whom they love. We all have the right to express ourselves freely. Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (which set out for the first time the rights we’re all entitled to) protects everyone’s right to express themselves freely.
The Atheists In Kenya Society will keep advocating for laws and policies that will protect everyone’s dignity. We work for a Kenya where all people can enjoy their rights fully.