Last week, and this, there has been a debate raging – sparked off by the marriage of two Kenyan men in the UK. Oddly enough, while the West has moved on and being gay or not gay there is not so much of an issue, Kenya has been stuck in a time warp. Being gay in Kenya is taboo. The act is illegal and considered a criminal offense. Many say that the publicity surrounding the marriage of two Kenyan men has brought shame on the country. I always did say that in many ways, living in Kenya today is like Britain in the 1950s. The story has actually been quite sad, because the Nation has reported that the family of the couple in Murang’a are being constantly harassed since the story broke. In fact there was a photograph of a particularly miserable old man who is a ‘relative of Daniel Chege’.
Since the story broke, the radio airwaves have been hot on the topic. The funniest moment in the debate has to have been the comments made by Kenyan priest Fr Ambrose Muli, who on Sunday preached an inflammatory sermon in Malindi. He placed blame firmly at the door of Kenyan women for the fact that some Kenyan men are gay. To paraphrase,
‘Today, as we celebrate this Holy Mass, I am a very, very disappointed man,’
‘This so called marriage between the two Kenyan men in London last week, why do you think it happened? What went wrong? What is the matter?’
Apparently the congregation had fallen into dead silence by this point.
‘This is because the women are no longer marriageable.’
At this point the congregation started murmuring. A few women said, ‘no, no, no’ and shook their heads, but the priest hadn’t really got started yet.
‘Women, from the way that I see it, have become too complicated and unattractive in marriage. You don’t provide what God intended you to give in marriage. You have frustrated the men so much leading them to try amongst themselves whether they will get the joy that comes with marriage.’
The Nation said; ‘Women could not take it lying down’ and started shouting at the priest saying that the problem was with the men. But still the priest wasn’t finished,
‘There is something very, very wrong with women these days. You have failed to handle men the way you should. Men don’t see anything useful if you. The job that God gave you, you have failed to do.’ He said. Apparently there was uproar. Female radio DJs are still furious and bickering with their male co-hosts over what men should expect from marriage and women.
Later in his sermon, Fr Muli went on to highlight the responsibility of parents to look after and guard their children, bringing them up in a righteous manner – which was beginning to sound a little less loopy – especially in light of the reputation Malindi has as a sex holiday destination for the rest of the world. Perhaps he was trying to wind everybody up in order to draw a bit of attention to the problems of sex tourism in Malindi – but somehow I doubt it. Wives everywhere are still bristling. Women leaders have demanded an apology.