In 2015 when Barack Obama visited his father’s country Kenya, it was expected that he would speak out in favour of gay rights. It was also expected that the country’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta, would respond forcefully in favour of its repressive laws.
Both expectations were fulfilled.
But what looked on the surface like a typical confrontation was received differently by many of the country’s thoughtful activists: they heard a call for cautious change.
“It’s very difficult for us to be able to impose on people that which they themselves do not accept,” President Kenyatta said at the July bilateral press conference. “For Kenyans today, the issue of gay rights is really a non-issue.”
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