President Obama openly criticized Kenyan laws that criminalize sexual activity between men Saturday and lectured Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on the country's gay rights record. Kenyatta hit back at Obama's assertion, calling the issue of gay rights "really a non-issue" for Kenyans and that Kenyan "culture, our societies don't accept."
"I believe in the principle of treating people equally under the law, and that they are deserving of equal protection under the law and that the state should not discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation," Obama said at a joint press conference in Nairobi. "And I say that, recognizing that there may be people who have different religious or cultural beliefs. But the issue is how does the state operate relative to people."
"When you start treating people differently not because of any harm they are doing to anybody, but because they are different, that's the path whereby freedoms begin to erode," Obama said at a joint press conference with the Kenyan leader in Nairobi. "And bad things happen."
Obama compared Kenya's laws, which punish homosexual activity with a maximum of 14 years imprisonment, with racism in America.