Webinar: Challenging the Criminalization of “Homosexuality” in Kenya: An Update on Movement Litigation Jan 30, 2020

Webinar: Challenging the Criminalization of “Homosexuality” in Kenya: An Update on Movement Litigation

Thursday, January 30th 2020
9-11 am EST, 3-5 pm CET, 5-7 pm EAT

Join Global Philanthropy Project, UHAI-EASHRI, American Jewish World Service, Wellspring Philanthropic Fund, and Open Society Foundations for an update call on the Kenya Decrim litigation. 

Join movement leaders and litigators- National Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC)  Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya (GALCK) and Nyanza Rift Valley and Western Kenya LGBT Coalition (NYARWEK)-to discuss important updates and key opportunities for grantmakers.

Speakers and Bios

Njeri Gateru is a queer feminist human rights lawyer with seven years working experience working on the protection of minorities in Kenya including asylum seekers, internally displaced persons and LGBTIQ communities. She is founding member and the Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission in Kenya, an organization that provides legal aid and engages in strategic litigation towards equal rights and protection of LGBTIQ persons in Kenya. NGLHRC has successfully litigated for registration of LGBTIQ organizations and ending forced anal examinations. Currently, the organization is litigating towards decriminalization of homosexuality in Kenya.

Njeri also curates the ‘Because Womxn’ forum – a radical space for conversation and collective design on leadership, security and wellness for LBQ identifying women in Kenya.

Njeri has previously worked with Human Rights Watch in New York, the Red Cross in Kenya and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. She has consulted on and written papers on the lived realities of LBQ women in Kenya, the asylum regime and SOGIE, self-love and body autonomy, as well as activism and the online space.

With a Bachelor’s degree in Law, Njeri is now pursuing a second degree in Gender & Development Studies. She is also a pioneer fellow under President Obama’s Mandela Washington Fellowship, having undergone leadership training in the University of Virginia and the College of William and Mary in the U.S.A.

Daniel Peter Onyango is a 37 year old self-driven individual who is passionate in realizing a sustainable society through offering their skills and expertise to give solutions to the current evolving community problems. Onyango draws his motivation from the plight of sexual and gender marginalized people living in absolute rejection due to their sexual orientation and gender identity which the greater community does not understand. Their personal mission is to build on their experience oi community empowerment services, advocacy and paralegal activities for minority groups with an aim of upbringing an equitable, free, just and fair society where self-acceptance and societal understanding and diversity is upheld.

Onyango is a clinician and currently serving as the Executive Director and the founder of Nyanza Rift Valley Western Kenya LGBTI Network (NYARWEK) that advocates for the rights of LGBTI persons in Western Kenya. Onyango is also a researcher who has led and participated in different research

programs aimed at improving the sexual and reproductive health rights of the key populations in Kenya.

Onyango is the former chair person for the Key Population Consortium for the past four years, an advocacy platform that brings together all the national key population Networks that champion for the rights of the key populations in Kenya. These include the Kenya Sex Worker Alliance (KESWA), Kenya Harm Reduction Network (KHRN), Kenya Network of People who Use Drugs ( KENPUD), Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya (GALCK), Nyanza Rift Valley Western Kenya LGBTI Network (NYARWEK), and the GMT HIV Prevention Network of Kenya (GHPN-Ke).

Onyango sits on the board of management for different organizations and provides technical assistance and expertise on key population management and implementation. These include, Eagles for Life (Kisii),

Kisumu Gender Strategic Plan Implementation 2018-2022 and the Kisumu County Health Task Force. Onyango is also the chair person of Anza Mapema Community Advisory Board that conducts research on MSM in Kisumu, and norm change research in Kenya.

Lorna Dias, a Kenyan national, is a media consultant and social justice activist with 15 years’ experience in policy engagement and advocacy around governance, human rights and HIV. She has been Executive Coordinator of Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya (GALCK) since 2014, and was most previously Technical Officer: Documentation and Guidelines at Kenya’s Ministry of Health National AIDS and STI Control Programme Technical Support Unit (2013-2014); and the Most-at-Risk Populations Programme Coordinator at Kenya’s leading HIV testing and treatment provider, LVCT Health (2008-2013). She has a Bachelor’s in Psychology (Counseling) from University of Nairobi (2007), a Bachelor’s in Education from Kenyatta University (1990) and is an AusAID Australian Leadership Award Fellow (2011). She has contributed to several publications on violence, sexual health and human rights for sexual and gender minorities, sex workers, and people who use drugs, and has supported the development of key national and institutional policies and manuals since 2008. Amongst various professional courses, Lorna has undertaken the USAID/MEASURE Evaluation Leadership Development Program (2013); Financial Management training by MANGO (2016), and the Feminist Leadership, Movement Building and Rights Institute by CREA (2016).

Moderators

Joaninne Nanyange is a feminist human rights lawyer, researcher and writer with over seven years’ experience working with criminalized communities including LGBTIQ persons; Sex Workers; Persons who Use and Inject Drugs; and Women, girls and health service providers facing criminal charges of abortion, in Uganda and Kenya. She currently works as a Program Officer for the American Jewish World Service (AJWS) in Kenya, taking lead on a project designed to shift norms in favor of SOGIE-SC rights and LGBTIQ grant-making.

She has previously worked as the Head of Research and Advocacy and Deputy Executive Director of Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF – Uganda) where she took lead on various research and documentation initiatives like the annual documentation of violations suffered by sex workers and LGBTIQ persons in Uganda; creation of partnerships and training of state actors like the Police and the Uganda Human Rights Commission on the rights of LGBTIQ persons; analysis of laws that affect criminalized communities in Uganda; and participating in the building of the legal challenges at the Ugandan Constitutional Court and the East African Court of Justice, that led to the annulment of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act.

She has consulted on a number of projects for the LGBTIQ community in Uganda and continues online and in-person feminist activism on issues concerning criminalized communities in Uganda.

Alli Jernow is the Program Director of the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity & Expression Program at Wellspring Philanthropic Fund.  She oversees domestic and international grantmaking in support of LGBTQ human rights, with a focus on intersectionality and movement-building. Prior to joining Wellspring, she ran the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Program at the International Commission of Jurists. She was an expert witness in the landmark case of Atala v. Chile before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and she authored numerous amicus briefs and interventions for cases before the European Court of Human Rights, the UN Human Rights Committee, and national courts.  She is the author of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Justice:  A Comparative Law Casebook. In her earlier career as a civil rights prosecutor for the U.S. Department of Justice, she investigated and prosecuted cases of police brutality, labor trafficking, and hate crimes. She has consulted for OHCHR, ILO and OSCE and worked for civil society organizations in the US, Europe and Africa. 

Background

Sections 162, 163 and 165 of the Penal Code of Kenya make it a crime for consenting adults to “have carnal knowledge against the order of nature” – defined as sodomy — and for consenting adult men to engage in “gross indecency” with each other.  As with many other countries around the world that criminalize same-sex sexual activity, Kenya inherited these provisions of law from British colonizers more than 100 years ago.  The laws impose lengthy prison sentences.  A violation of Section 162 is punishable by up to fourteen years in prison. A violation of Section 165 carries a prison term of five years.  These laws are, of course, a severe violation of the dignity, privacy and equality of gay Kenyans.  Their mere existence has been used to harass and blackmail the LGBTQ community, and has served to justify stigma, discrimination, and violence.  In 2016, Kenyan activists made a collective decision to mount a constitutional challenge.  Other activists around the world – in Singapore, Belize, India, Botswana and elsewhere – had embarked on similar challenges, with mixed results.

Kenyan LGBTQ organizations had reason to be cautiously optimistic.  The new Constitution of Kenya, adopted in 2010, contained an expansive guarantee of equality and protection from discrimination, with an open-ended list of prohibited grounds of discrimination.  There had been some positive court decisions in related cases.  For example, in 2015, the National Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC) won a judgment allowing it to register as an NGO.   In 2016, NGLHRC and two other organizations – the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya (GALCK) and Nyanza Rift Valley and Western Kenya LGBT Coalition (NYARWEK) – filed challenges to the constitutional validity of Sections 162 and 165 of the Penal Code before the High Court.  The petitions, consolidated by the Court as one case, argued that the criminalization of same-sex conduct violates rights to equality, non-discrimination, human dignity, security, privacy, and health, all protected under the Kenyan Constitution.  At first signs were promising.  Oral arguments, held in February 2018, went very well.  When the Supreme Court of India struck down Article 377 in September 2018, the Kenyan court asked for supplemental briefing.

To support the litigation, the LGBTQ community embarked on an unprecedented public education campaign, gaining attention and support through positive press coverage, posters, and social media. The #LoveIsHuman campaign rolled out strikingly beautiful images on billboards in Nairobi.  LGBTQ Kenyans were more visible than ever before.   

In May 2019, however, the High Court ruled that these provisions of the Penal Code do not violate the Constitution.  The Court found no violations of any constitutional right. 

The Court first rejected the claim of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.  In tortured reasoning, it found that the provision targeting “indecent practices between males” applied to “any male person” – and not just “male persons of a particular sexual orientation.”  It summarily rejected petitioners’ claims of discrimination, violence, and harassment because “save for the allegations made in the Petition and the affidavits, no tangible evidence was given to support the allegations.”   Similarly, the Court dismissed the relevance of foreign jurisprudence and international human rights instruments, stating that “we should . . . develop our common law in a manner that promotes the values and principles enshrined in our Constitution.”  Finally, the Court reasoned that the wording of Article 45 of the Constitution, which provides that “Every adult has the right to marry a person of the opposite sex”, meant that there was no violation of the rights to dignity and privacy.  “The Petitioners’ argument that they are not seeking to be allowed to enter into same-sex marriage is, in our view, immaterial, given that if allowed, it will lead to same-sex persons living together as  couples.  Such relationships, whether in private or not, formal or not, would be in violation of the tenor and spirit of the Constitution.”  The limitation of marriage to heterosexual couples was in fact dispositive, according to the Court.  “In our view, where the fill of the people is expressed in the Constitution, it represents societal values, which must always be a factor in considering constitutional validity of a particular enactment where such legislation seeks to regulate conduct, private or public.”

In sum, the Court based its conclusion on a strained reading of the criminal provisions at issue and on extreme deference to what it determined was societal values on morality and marriage.  Although it acknowledged that sexual orientation could in fact be a basis of prohibited discrimination, it found no such discrimination here.    

The three organizations have filed their appeal at the Kenyan Court of Appeal.  The Repeal 162 site stated: “You win some, you lose others, but never give up.”

Additional Resources

2020 GPP Annual Member Meeting, July 23-24

GPP 2020 Annual Member Meeting
July 23-24th
Accra, Ghana

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ABOUT GPP’S ANNUAL MEETING

GPP’s member-only annual meeting will coincide with Pan-Africa ILGA’s Conference (PAI dates: 27-31 July 2020). In addition to a Donor Pre-Conference, GPP will be hosting their annual meeting to discuss GPP’s work ahead. 

PARTICIPATE IN MEETING PLANNING

The meeting planning process is now getting started, through conversations within each Working Group and Study Group. Further member outreach for meeting feedback will be coming soon. 

If you have ideas, inspiration, or interest in participating in the meeting development, GPP Director Matthew Hart would love to discuss it with you. Email Matthew Hart to start the conversation. 

GPP’s 2018 Annual Meeting

 

REGISTER HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON GPP’S 2020 ANNUAL MEETING

 

GPP at the European Foundation Center’s Annual Conference in Vienna- 20-22 May

Save the Date: Global Philanthropy Project at the European Foundation Centre
Annual General Assembly and Conference 2020

Vienna, Austria
Thursday, May 21 2:30-5:00pm CET
Location: Rosa-lila Villa

Dreilinden, Hil-Foundation, Oak Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Mama Cash and the Global Philanthropy Project will host a Cafe talk at the Rosa Lila Villa in Vienna. The Rosa Lila Villa is the center of LGBTI life in Vienna and an important historical epicenter of political and social life for European LGBTI people. This moderated conversation will dive deep into the lived experiences and financing modalities and inequities and funding opportunities to support LGBTI people in Europe.

The proposed discussions will be guided by the 2017/2018 Global Resources Report: Philanthropic & Government Support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex Communities, GPP’s a comprehensive report on the state of foundation and government funding for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) issues. This report, which will be released in May 2020, will capture data on more than 15,000 grants awarded by more than 600 foundations, intermediaries, and corporations and by nearly 20 government and multilateral agencies over the two-year period of 2017-2018. The report and discussions will provide detailed data on the distribution of LGBTI funding by geography, issue, strategy, and population focus, offering a tool for identifying trends, gaps, and opportunities in the rapidly changing landscape of LGBTI global funding. The bi-annual Global Resources Report provides governments, multilateral agencies, civil society, philanthropy and corporate foundations with the most detailed and accurate understanding of the global funding landscape on LGBTI issues. This session will focus on data regarding the Council of Europe States. 

Foundation Sponsors of the proposal: Dreilinden, Hil-Foundation, Oak Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Mama Cash

 

Registration for the European Foundation Centre Annual Conference and GPP’s Coffeehouse Talk will be available in February!

About Coffeehouse Talks

The Viennese coffeehouse culture as a “typical social practice” has been officially included in the list of UNESCO’s national intangible cultural heritage since 10 November 2011. The Viennese coffeehouses are places of daily exchange for their guests. Here you keep yourself up-to-date and discuss the current developments of your private life and the world at large. The typical Viennese coffeehouse was not only a place for drinks and (less so) food, but also an alternative living and working room, open from morning to night, where regulars could be reached by telephone, have their mail sent to them, and received visits. Coffee houses provided address and telephone directories, timetables and encyclopaedias. Until today there is a variety of newspapers and magazines to read on offer as well as entertainment to fuel not only but also artists’ and politicians’ minds when discussing a better, or at least, different world. 

The EFC Coffeehouse Talks are short sessions of small groups around coffeehouse tables experts and peers from the philanthropic and civil society world will discuss with you topics of importance for our societies over a cup of coffee (or tea) and typical Viennese pastries.

The Coffehouse Talks are limited to 30 participants each. Please register as soon as possible for your favourite talk. Registration will be available shortly. 

Location

Date: Thursday, May 21 2:30-5:00pm CET

Rosa Lila Villa (also known as Türkis Rosa Lila Villa)

  • The center of gay and lesbian life in Vienna with information points
  • Address: Linke Wienzeile 102, 1060 Wien, Austria

Webinar Launch: LGBTI+ Youth Resources Jan 22, 2020

Webinar Launch for LGBTI+ Youth Resources

Wednesday, January 22nd 2020 at 10 am EST, 4 pm CET, 6 pm EAT

** This is a grantmaker only webinar if you have any questions please email info@globalphilanthropyproject.org

Around the world, children and youth who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender expansive and non-conforming, and intersex (LGBTI+) are growing up in families, communities, and countries that do not yet know how to talk to them about sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, sex characteristics, or, in many cases, even more, fundamental concepts like sexuality and gender.

Elevate Children Funders Group and Global Philanthropy Project came together to learn about how the LGBTI+ and child and youth rights communities can better understand, support and fund programs for LGBTI+ children and youth around the world. Together, we have developed a set of resources to communicate our learning, intended to be shared globally with funders, civil society, and activists.

Please join a 1-hour webinar for grantmakers to learn more about these resources, available online here

Let’s learn about the experiences of the young members of LGBTI communities and initiatives that already exist to support them. Let’s support and fund more services that improve the long-term outcomes for LGBTI young people. To support children is to support LGBTI children, too.

Save the Date: Global Rights Summit

Save the Date: Global Rights Summit 2020
December 7-11, 2020
Location to be announced

The Global Philanthropy Project and co-sponsoring partners will coordinate a Global Rights Summit from December 7-11 2020, location to be announced, focused on grantmaker responses to “anti-gender ideology.” This will be an opportunity for grantmakers across multiple fields and key organizations working on these issues to convene for reporting on activities and outcomes, and shared strategizing for the next phase of development. Please sign up here to receive updates and more information. 

Click here for more resources on “Resisting Anti-Gender Ideology.” 

This convening will provide an opportunity for grantmakers to develop shared analysis, strategy, and collaboration across multiple interconnected grantmaking issue areas including (but not limited to):

  • Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC)
  • Sexual Health and Reproductive Rights (SHRR)
  • Closing Space/Defending Open Space
  • Environmental and Climate Crisis Issues
  • Refugee and Asylum Issues
  • Rights of Children and Youth 

Within this multi-day meeting, grantmakers and representatives of key grantee organizations will convene for co-learning, shared strategizing, and identification of action steps across multiple thematic tracks. The convening will also include a section we are describing as “regional institutes,” providing grantmakers with an opportunity to apply thematic analysis to practical, localized strategies within geographic regions. Additionally, the convening will include time for self-organized sessions and for membership meetings of the co-sponsoring networks.

Co-Sponsoring Organizations
(List in Development)

The convening will also be developed by an Advisory Committee. 

Logos for GPP, ECFG, FICS, and PAWHR

Webinar Launch: Funder Briefing the State of Trans Funding and Funder Briefing the State of Intersex Funding- Oct 9

Webinar Launch of
“Funder Briefing: The State of Trans Funding” and 
“Funder Briefing: The State of Intersex Funding”

Wednesday, October 9th 2019 at 10 am EDT, 4 pm CEST, 5pm EAT

 

** This is a grantmaker only webinar if you have any questions please email info@globalphilanthropyproject.org

 

Across every region of the world, trans and intersex people face unacceptably high levels of violence and discrimination. Intersex and trans movements are fighting back, but their progress is hampered and their leaders risk burnout because they have very little funding. Join us for the launch of our two new briefs; Funder Briefing: The State of Trans Funding and Funder Briefing: The State of Intersex Funding.

These two new briefs are based on a comparative analysis of data from two reports- The State of Trans Organizing (2nd Edition) and The State of Intersex Organizing (2nd Edition), produced by American Jewish World Service, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice and Global Action for Trans Equality and the 2015-2016 Global Resources Report: Government and Philanthropic Support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex Communities published by the Global Philanthropy Project and Funders for LGBTQ Issues.

The reports, containing data from 455 trans groups and 54 intersex groups in 107 countries around the world, are a call to action for civil society and philanthropy to step up our collective support.

 

Webinar Speakers:
Wiktor Dynarski – Program Officer, OSF Public Health Program
Broden Giambrone – Director, International Trans Fund
Cleopatra Kambugu – Director of Programmes, UHAI EASHRI

Click on the reports to view full screen and download them.

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Click on the reports to view full screen and download them.

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