President Obama was met with resistance from Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on LGBT rights on Saturday.
While Mr. Obama voiced strong support for gay rights in Africa during a joint conference with Mr. Kenyatta, the Kenyan president called gay rights a “nonissue” and said they were not a priority for the country.
Mr. Kenyatta said the while the U.S. and Kenya agree on many issues, there are some things that cultures or societies just don’t accept.
He added that it is very difficult to impose beliefs on people that simply do not accept them and said it would be more productive for the Kenyan government to focus its efforts elsewhere.
In Kenya, gay sex is a crime punishable by up to 14 years in prison, The Associated Press reported.
Mr. Obama likened gay rights in Africa to civil rights for African-Americans in the United States and said he is “unequivocal” on the issue of gay rights and discrimination.
He added that while people have different religious and culture beliefs, it is not the government’s job to weigh in on religious doctrine, but to ensure that all law-abiding citizens are treated equally.
But Mr. Kenyatta said that the country can begin to look at new issues after it deals with more pressing concerns like terrorism.