Gay rights of no importance in Kenya: Kenyatta

London: Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has said that his country does not consider gay rights “relevant” as it goes against the cultural beliefs of Kenyans.

In an interview to CNN on Friday night, Kenyatta said that Kenya’s cultural beliefs “do not consider homosexuality a human right”.

“I want to be very clear. I won’t engage in a subject that is of no main importance to the people of the republic of Kenya. This is not an issue, as you would want to put it, of human rights. This is an issue of society, of our own base, as a culture, as a people regardless of which community you come from,” he said.

“This not acceptable, this not agreeable. This not about Uhuru Kenyatta saying yes or no. This is an issue of the people of Kenya themselves who have bestowed upon themselves a Constitution, after several years of clearly stating that this is is not a subject they are willing to engage in,” he added.

Kenyatta said under the prevailing laws, he cannot allow same-sex activities to be tolerated unless, in future days, the law is repealed to allow it.

“Maybe our society will have reached a stage where those are issues that people are willing freely and open to discuss. I have to be honest with and that is a position we have always maintained.”

His interview came on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London. This is not the first time he dismissed gay rights as a “non-issue” in public.

During a visit to Kenya in 2015, then US President Barack Obama directly challenged Kenyatta on the need for equality for the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) community, suggesting that “bad things happen” when countries do not accept their citizens’ right to be homosexual.

Kenyatta bluntly shut down Obama’s discussion on gay rights terming it “a non-issue” and that Kenya was not keen on embracing homosexuality.