Kenya Bans 'Blasphemous' Film That Advocates 'Gay Marriage'

Michael W. Chapman | October 1, 2021 | 3:27pm EDT
Text Audio
00:00 00:00
Font Size
Image from documentary film, I Am Samuel.   (Screenshot)
Image from documentary film, I Am Samuel. (Screenshot)

(CNS News) -- A documentary film entitled I Am Samuel was banned from being shown or distributed in Kenya because it promotes "same-sex marriage as an acceptable way of life," which is in violation of Kenyan laws against homosexuality.

I Am Samuel is a clear and deliberate attempt by the producer to promote same-sex marriage as an acceptable way of life," said Christopher Wambua, chief executive officer of the Kenya Film Classification Board in a Sept. 23 statement. 

A scene from I Am Samuel.  (Screenshot)
A scene from I Am Samuel. (Screenshot)

"This attempt is evident through the repeated confessions by the gay couple that what they feel for each other is normal and should be embraced as a way of life," reads the statement. "The documentary ultimately features marriage of two men, and concludes with the dedication of the family to the gay community." 

A description of the film reads, "Samuel, a gay Kenyan man, balances duty to his family with his love for his partner, Alex, in a country where their love is criminalized."

By deliberately advocating gay marriage in Kenya, "the film blatantly violates Article 165 of the Penal Code that outlaws homosexuality," said Wambua, and the rules of the Films and Stage Plays Act of Kenya.

Sexual acts between men constitute a felony in Kenya, punishable by up to five years in prison. In addition, gay marriage is prohibited, as is the adoption of children by homosexual couples. 

Christopher Wambua, chief executive officer of the Kenya Film Classification Board. (KFCB, Screenshot)
Christopher Wambua, chief executive officer of the Kenya Film Classification Board. (KFCB, Screenshot)

In Kenya, 82.1% of the population identifies as Christian -- Protestant, Catholic, and other denominations. About 11% of the population is Muslim. "Going to church on Sunday is very common as churches are found all throughout the country," according to the Cultural Atlas.  "It is also common to see religious icons and sacred spaces in people's homes, offices or vehicles."

I Am Samuel is "demeaning of Christianity as two gay men in the film purport to conduct a religious marriage invoking the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit," said the Kenya Film Classification Board. "On the basis of religion as a classifiable element, the Board finds the documentary not only blasphemous but also an attempt to use religion to advocate same-sex marriage."

Worshippers of Legio Maria wearing face mask as a preventive measure against the spread of COVID-19 attend the Christmas prayer at their church in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, on December 25, 2020.  (Getty Images)
Worshippers of Legio Maria wearing face mask as a preventive measure against the spread of COVID-19 attend the Christmas prayer at their church in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, on December 25, 2020. (Getty Images)

The Board also warned that, because of the film, "children and other vulnerable groups are at risk of being corrupted by such inappropriate content."

The Board ruled that I Am Samuel is "RESTRICTED," meaning it is "prohibited from exhibition, distribution, possession or broadcasting within the Republic of Kenya." If any entity in Kenya seeks to show or possess the film, they will "be met with the full force of the law," stated the Board. 

In conclusion, Wambua called on institutions and the public to support artistic content "that promotes Kenya's moral values and national aspirations," to help ensure "that we protect children against exposure to inappropriate content." 

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
donate
mrc merch