African Activist: Kenya’s Landmark Intersex Case

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THE case of Richard Muasya, a Kenyan intersex person who has been persecuted by the state for being intersex, forcing him into a life of crime in order to survive, is reported on by the African Activist website. The report includes a link to the judges’ ruling:

A landmark court case filed by Richard Muasya, an intersex person, has been decided by Kenyan High Court judges Hannah Okwengu, Ruth Sitati and George Dulu. Richard Muasya has been awarded Sh500,000 for the inhuman and degrading treatment he experienced at Kamiti Maximum Prison. His request to have a third gender introduced into Kenya’s books of statutes has been rejected. …

External link:

… Because of his sexual condition, the petitioner was subjected to cruel and inhuman treatment while in custody. The court held that this was contrary to section to the Constitution and awarded the petitioner Kshs. 500,000/00. Solace for someone who, as a result of a robbery with violence conviction, is liable to face the hangman.

Editorial comment:

MEDIA commentary throughout the trial has focused on religious arguments that instituting a “third sex” or “third gender” will somehow open the floodgates to homosexuality in Kenya.

According to his testimony, Richard Muasya has experienced lifelong persecution simply for being born intersex – such persecution is motivated by the fear that the person in question has somehow been born with a body that is intrinsically homosexual. As a result he was refused a birth certificate and other official documentation throughout his life, making it impossible to live as a normal human being.

Besides the homophobic argument against an official third sex or gender – OII believes that such constructs are not useful to intersex people anyway – the other argument against Muasya is that intersex does not exist in Kenya and that he is the only one in the country.

If that is the case, the Kenya is unique among all the world’s nations.