USAID donation not reward for Supreme Court ruling on LGBTQ+, US envoy Meg Whitman says

United States Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman.

United States Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman during a press briefing at the US Embassy in Nairobi.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The US has waded into the heated debate of same-sex relationships and marriages in the country that has been hitting headlines for weeks.

The Supreme Court had dismissed an appeal by the government to bar registration of gays and lesbians lobby groups, ending an 11-year legal battle by activists seeking the official registration of an LGBTQ+ organisation in Kenya.

Speaking on Friday about the issue, US Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman said the US will respect the stand of each country on LGBTQ+ rights.

She also ruled out any connection between the USAID donation of Sh16 billion in support of Kenya's drought relief efforts and the country’s stand on the LGBTQ+ debate.

“There is absolutely no linkage at all between food and drought relief and Kenya’s stand on LGBTQ,” said Ms Whitman.

The envoy also reiterated her country’s respect of Kenya’s values and position on LGBTQ rights.

“In the United States we probably have a different position which includes LGBTQ rights as human rights but we respect every country’s point of view on what position they want to take on this and we will respect that but of course our democratic values and the way we feel is different and that is okay.”

She added that countries have their differences when it comes to conversations around same-sex relationships and marriages which are allowed in the majority of States in the US.

According to Ms Whitman, the hardline stance of the Kenyan government on same-sex relationships will not affect the long-term relationship between the two countries.

“We have our very strong working relationship over many years and I think the Kenyan government probably knows the US perspective, in fact, I know they do but we also respect Kenya’s right on this particular issue.”

President Ruto said that the Supreme Court’s majority decision on the registration of the LGBTQ+’s association is against the culture and traditional way of Kenyans.

Dr Ruto urged the religious leaders to step up efforts to teach the young generations about the right way of life, castigating some of the institutions in the country for teaching the vice to students.