Gregory Warner from NPR’s All Things Considered interviews OutRight

When The U.S. Backs LGBTIQ Rights In Africa, Is There A Backlash?

As part of the project A Nation Engaged, NPR and member stations are exploring America's role in the world heading into the presidential election.

Everyone knew President Obama would say something about LGBTIQ rights when he visited Kenya last summer. Many American activists were pressing him to publicly condemn Kenya's colonial-era law making homosexuality a crime.

But Kenyan gays and lesbians were wary. In the weeks leading up to Obama's visit, Kenyan politicians took to the airwaves to assert their anti-gay bona fides. Deputy President William Ruto gave a guest sermon in a church to announce that Kenya "had no room" for homosexuality. As the vitriol increased, so did the incidents of violence, from assaults to rape.

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