Kenya’s Second Lady: No place for LGBTQ+ people in Africa

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Pastor Dorcas Rigathi is the queerphobic Second Lady of Kenya (Photo: Office of the Deputy President)

Dorcas Rigathi, the wife of Kenya’s Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, has reiterated her bigoted stance against LGBTQ+ individuals, insisting that they are not welcome in Africa.

Rigathi, a businesswoman and pastor with an Honorary Doctorate in Divinity, is a vocal advocate for “family values” within the Office of the Deputy President’s Spouse.

Speaking at a recent launch of the book Jesus’ Africa by Ugandan President Museveni’s daughter, Patience Museveni Rwabwogo, Rigathi expressed her support for Uganda’s repressive stance on homosexuality.

Supporting Repression

“We must stand for what is true and what is right,” she told Rwabwogo, urging her to continue without fear.

Rigathi asserted, “LGBTQ does not have a place in Africa. It is better to miss out on trade but have our integrity intact. We must stand for what is right, say no to immorality, and begin our rebuilding journey by returning to the family because family is everything.”

Uganda faces international pressure over its draconian Anti-Homosexuality Act, which was enacted largely on the basis of the false narrative that same-sex attraction is foreign to Africa.

Anti-LGBTQ+ Comments at University Forum

In a recent orientation forum at Maasai Mara University, Kenya’s Second Lady was quoted as also condemned same-sex marriage.

She questioned, “When a man marries a man, what do they produce? And when a woman marries a woman, what do they produce?”

Rigathi insisted on adhering to the “divine order” for society to thrive and emphasised that Africa is not ready for same-sex unions because “we have our culture, we have our own religion.”

Growing Anti-LGBTQ+ Sentiment in Kenya

Rigathi’s recent comments follow the Goethe-Institute hosting the Out Film Festival in Nairobi a few weeks ago. Attended by dozens of queer individuals from across the continent, the event aimed to celebrate LGBTQ+ identities through film screenings and panel discussions.

Kenya has witnessed a surge in radical anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment, both online and in the streets, partially ignited by a recent landmark court ruling ordering the government to register the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission as an NGO.

Homosexuality remains criminalised in Kenya under colonial-era laws, carrying potential penalties of up to 14 years in prison.

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