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Obama will talk about homosexuality in Kenya, White House says

US President Barack Obama has no intention to keep off discussing issues relating to same-sex marriages when he visits Kenya, a White House spokesman has said.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Monday that Mr Obama will not shy away from matters relating to human rights when he visits Kenya for the 2015 Global Economic Summit to take place in two weeks.

Responding to a question from Washington Post journalist David Nakamura, Mr Earnest said he was not aware that Deputy President William Ruto had said that Kenya has no room for those who agitate for rights of homosexuals.

“We have been clear that when the president travels around the world he does not hesitate to raise concerns about human rights,” said Mr Earnest.

Speaking on Sunday at the Africa Inland Church in Nairobi’s Ziwani, Mr Ruto had said Kenya is a God-fearing nation that will stick to religious teachings.

“Homosexuality is against the plan of God. God did not create man and woman so that men would marry men and women marry women.

“We have heard that in the US they have allowed gay relations and other dirty things. I want to say as a Christian leader that we will defend our country Kenya. We will stand for our faith and our country.

GOD-FEARING NATION

“No amount of persuasions, theories or philosophy will make us change our position. We believe in God. This is a God-fearing nation and will continue to be so,” said Mr Ruto.

But the White House spokesman said Mr Obama will always agitate for the protection of human rights.

“I’m confident the president will not hesitate to make clear that the protection of basic human rights in Kenya is…  a priority consistent with the values that we hold dear here in the United States of America,” Mr Earnest noted.

Asked if the visit was subject to Mr Obama keeping off certain issues, Mr Earnest replied: “Absolutely not.”

The US Supreme Court on June 26 gave a nod to same-sex marriages by saying homosexuals have a right to marry in any of the 50 states.

Following the decision, Kenyan leaders have continually been asking Mr Obama to keep off the same sex marriage issue when he visits Kenya.

Other than Mr Ruto, the Leader of Majority in the National Assembly, Mr Aden Duale, has openly asked Mr Obama to steer clear of the debate.

“We need to practice values that are worthy to avoid the destruction of our society at the behest of negative foreign influences,” he said at a fund-raising meeting in Mombasa County on June 26.