Kenya’s High Court has postponed a ruling on whether to scrap laws which criminalize homosexuality, citing a heavy case load.
Friday’s announcement of a delay was met with dismay by Kenya’s LGBT community and their allies, who have been anxiously awaiting a ruling on the petition, which was filed three years ago.
Chacha Mwita, one of the judges, said the files are above his height, adding that one of his colleagues was on leave and other members of the three-judge bench were juggling multiple cases.
Chacha Mwita set the decision for May 24.
“We plan to meet in April if all goes well and see whether we can come up with a decision. You do not appreciate what the judges are going through.”
Gay rights organisations are asking the court to scrap two sections of the penal code that criminalise homosexuality.
One section states that anyone who has “carnal knowledge… against the order of nature” can be imprisoned for 14 years. Another provides for a five-year jail term for “indecent practices between males”.
The petition was initially filed in 2016, and activists had been eagerly awaiting the decision, which could reverberate around Africa where several nations are grappling with similar laws.