|Stephane Tchakam, Charge de Communication Pan Africa ILGA|
The first openly gay candidate, David Kuria, will be running for the position of Senator in 2012, at Kenya’s Kiambu County, which has a population of over 1.6 million people.
While the gay community is behind him all the way, Kuria says his sexual orientation in relation to the political office position he is running for, are likely to ignite a lot of debate in the entire country as people discuss not just the viability of candidature, but also issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity.
He added that it is possible that a lot of people, instead of seeing just David Kuria in the ballot paper, they will see the whole gay community and will ask ‘how dare they now attempt to run even for a political office’, but he is not backing down.
“If elected as Senator we must ensure that the principles of equality and non discrimination are respected for all people not just in my own county but also across Africa, he said.
Presently General Manager of Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya (GALCK) and having work in this sector for years, many believe that Kuria is a perfect candidate with interests of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community at heart.
“Running for a Political Office in his home country, is refreshing in African politics, this is a ground breaking attempt, and I think that we can raise this issue on our Agendas to rally support for him, this is also historical in Africa, whatever the outcome, this is the journey towards Africa’s own Harvey Milk, the first of many to come”, Jide Macaulay of said
He added “As an individual, who has spoken out against injustice, I know too well the value of having someone who understands the issues of LGBTI people at the heart of politics to challenge discrimination, injustice on the ground of sexual orientation and gender identity and who will truly support all persons with integrity and trust.”
Since Uganda will be holding elections in 2011, Kuria has encouraged gay Ugandans to also run for offices.
“We can only be able to crush the oppressive stereotypes that people have on the LGBTI community if we are publicly seen doing and working for public interest”, he said.