US leader stands accused of the same bullying he himself denounced on eve of African trip
President Barack Obama’s cajoling of Kenyan leaders to accept “LGBT rights” has met with a notable backlash from African bishops and other state and religious leaders, with one African bishop drawing attention to the hypocrisy of Obama’s LGBT agenda.
Obama arrived in Kenya for a two-day visit on Friday, his first visit to his father’s homeland as US president, before heading to Ethiopia on Sunday for a one-day visit. At a joint press conference held with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday, Obama advocated for his administration’s pro-LGBT agenda, comparing Kenya’s policy toward gays to the treatment of blacks in the United States prior to the civil rights movement.
“As an African American in the United States, I am painfully aware of the history of what happens when people are treated differently under the law. There were all sorts of rationalizations that were provided by the power structure for decades in the United States for segregation and they were wrong,” he said.
“The State does not need to weigh in on religious doctrine; the State has to treat everybody equally under the law and then everybody else can have their opinions,” Obama clarified.
Yet President Kenyatta clearly was not convinced by the US leader’s words, dismissing the matter as a “non-issue” for Kenyans.
“The fact of the matter is Kenya and the US share so many values: common love for democracy, entrepreneurship, value for families — these are some things that we share,” Kenyatta said.
“But there are some things that we must admit we don’t share, our culture, our societies don’t accept. It is very difficult for us to be able to impose on people that which they themselves do not accept.. This is why I repeatedly say for Kenyans today the [gay rights issue] is generally a non-issue. We want to focus on other areas that are day to day living for our people. But as of now, the fact remains that this issue is not really an issue that is on the foremost mind of Kenyans, and that is a fact.”
Government and business leaders lauded President Kenyatta’s firm opposition to same-sex marriage, saying his sentiments resonated well with Kenyans.
“He never fumbled. His body language, posture and demeanor carried the sovereignty of our people. He made us proud as Kenyans. It demonstrated that we are a sovereign nation and we are not living as underdogs,” Senator Kipchumba Murkomen of Elgeyo-Marakwet said.
President Obama’s pro-gay agenda push came as no surprise. Prior to his departure, he told the BBC that he intended to deliver a “blunt” message on gay rights when he travelled to Africa.
“In my last trip to Africa, I was very blunt about my belief that everybody deserves fair treatment, equal treatment, in the eyes of the law and the state and that includes gays, lesbians, and transgender persons,” Obama said. “I am not a fan of discrimination and bullying of anybody, on the basis of race, on the basis of religion, on the basis of sexual orientation or gender.”
Some have noted the irony that President Obama warned against bullying when they see him doing exactly that by aggressively imposing the LGBT agenda.
Commenting on Obama’s BBC interview, Bishop Emmanuel Badejo of Nigeria, Director of Communications for the African bishops, offered his own blunt message: