World News

Kenya police stop gay wedding, make arrests

MOMBASA, Kenya (Reuters) - Kenyan police halted a gay wedding on the Indian Ocean coast on Friday and arrested several suspected homosexuals, police said.

Homosexuality is illegal in the east African country. The wedding between two men had been scheduled to take place at a private villa in the beach resort of Kikambala.

George Matundura, a senior police commander, said five people had been arrested after officers stormed the address. They would appear in court soon, he added.

“These are homosexuals who wanted to do a wedding and as you know, the Kenyan constitution says ... a man is not allowed to marry another man,” Matundura told reporters.

“It is an offence, an unnatural offence, and also their behaviour is repugnant to the morality of the people.”

Residents angered by the planned nuptials demonstrated outside the police station where the five suspects were taken.

“This is not allowed and these people, their behaviour is all the same,” one protester shouted. “They need to be burned.”

Homosexuality has become a contentious topic in Africa in recent months after a Ugandan lawmaker proposed a bill including the death penalty for some acts, then police in Malawi arrested a gay couple for getting engaged in a traditional ceremony.

Last week, U.S. President Barack Obama said the draft bill being debated in Uganda was “odious”. The Ugandan government has said that a revised version will probably limit the maximum penalty for convicts to life in prison, rather than execution.

Reporting by Reuters TV; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Giles Elgood