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Atheists in Kenya must reject the BBI initiative

Atheists in Kenya must reject the BBI initiative

The biggest problem with the Building Bridges Initiative is that it is a product of an informal process—there is no provision for it under the country’s Constitution. This, in and of itself, should serve as a red flag.

The Atheists In Kenya Society has vowed to reject the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report. The taskforce team failed to incorporate our views and those of our members. We shared a wide range of grievances only for the BBI secretariat to sideline us.

We have contested two areas in the Constitution which are retrogressive and override the need to respect human rights. We have challenged Article 45 (2) of the Constitution which stipulates that a marriage can only be formed by persons of the opposite sex.

The section of the law reads: “Every adult has the right to marry a person of the opposite sex, based on the free consent of the part.” We want this law to relaxed to allow room for same-sex marriages. The section should read, “Every adult has the right to marry any other person, based on the free consent of parties.”

While the initiative claims to foster unity and shared prosperity, the process has been opaque, non-participatory, and divisive. It ignores the root cause of Kenya’s disputed elections, which point to inability to manage democratic transition and submit to constitutionalism. Historically, this has accounted for cynical personality pacts and short-term tribal alliances.

Ultimately, disregard for the rule of law bodes ill for Kenya’s stability. This initiative will water down the Constitution. Approving it would roll back Kenya’s democracy. It, therefore, must be rejected.

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