President Obama’s plea for gay rights didn’t go over big in his father’s birthplace of Kenya:
President Barack Obama and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta sparred over support for gay rights here Saturday, with Obama urging fast changes and Kenyatta saying it was not something Kenyan culture or society would “accept.” Linking LGBT discrimination in Africa to the history of Jim Crow laws in America, Obama said ensuring gay rights must be a priority on a continent — and in a country — where bias against gays is accepted, and violence against gays is common.
Standing by Obama’s side at a joint press conference here in front of the Kenyan state house, Kenyatta repeated what he has said before about gay rights: it’s “a non-issue.” Kenyatta’s remarks were the ones that drew applause among the Kenyan audience.
“For Kenyans today, the issue of gay rights is really a non-issue. We want to focus on other issues that really are day-to-day issues for our people,” Kenyatta said.
Why an American president should make this “non-issue” a cornerstone of his foreign policy in Africa is open to speculation. Especially given his late conversion to the cause: