NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya's deputy president has said there is "no room" for homosexuality in Kenyan society, a widely-shared view in African countries that puts their leaders at odds with Western aid donors who back gay rights.William Ruto made the remarks at a church service on Sunday, the day U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived for talks. The United States has been at the forefront of calls for gay rights in Africa and criticizes anti-gay laws on the continent.
"The Republic of Kenya is a republic that worships God. We have no room for gays and those others," Ruto told a Nairobi church congregation in the national Swahili language, according to an online video posted by Kenyan broadcaster KTN.
Speaking at a news conference on Monday, Kerry was not familiar with Ruto's remarks but said it was the U.S. position that "all people are created equal."
Like most of sub-Saharan Africa, Kenyan society is strongly religious and socially conservative. Anti-gay remarks by African leaders often win public support but puts them at odds with Western donors who provide vital economic and other support.
When neighboring Uganda passed a law last year that toughened prison sentences against gays, Kerry described it as "atrocious" and compared it to anti-Semitic laws in Nazi Germany. The law was later struck down by a court.
Monday, May 4, 2015
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