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Kenyan schoolgirls sent home for "lesbianism" ? report

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Wed, 8 Feb 2012 15:05 GMT
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NAIROBI (TrustLaw) – A school in Mombasa has sent home 12 Kenyan girls on suspicion of “practising lesbianism”, according to local media reports.

Parents have complained that the principal of the school had no proof.

“We sent 12 girls home on Sunday on suspicion that they were practising lesbianism. We sent them away so that we can investigate,” The Standard newspaper quoted principal Doris Kavuku as saying.

 “My child came home crying,” one of the parents told the paper, saying her daughter was traumatised.

Homosexuality is taboo in Kenya, condemned by former Kenya president Daniel arap Moi as an un-African “scourge”.

Under Kenyan law, homosexual activity is a crime, described as “carnal knowledge against the order of nature”. It can be punished with up to 14 years in prison.

A 2011 survey found that 89 percent of Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Kenyans who told their families about their sexual orientation were subsequently disowned.

Last year, at least 50 school girls in western Kenya were sent home for allegedly practicing “lesbianism and devil worship.” 

Two gay sex workers who featured this month in a documentary on Kenya Television Network (KTN) saying the majority of their clients are married men, have gone into hiding because of threats.

In neighbouring Uganda, a bill that would make the death sentence mandatory for gays who are "repeat offenders" was reintroduced to parliament on Tuesday. 

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