|Obama arriving to Tanzania|
Kenya's president and deputy president urged U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday to respect the African country's culture and religious beliefs following comments made by Obama in Senegal, in which the president encouraged African governments to decriminalize homosexuality.
While speaking at St. Gabriel's Catholic Church, located in Maili Kumi in the Bahati constituency, Kenya Deputy President William Ruto urged Obama to "respect Kenyans" and their belief that homosexuality is a sin.
"No one should have any worry about Kenya's stand as a God-fearing nation. President Obama is a powerful man but we trust in God as it is written in the Bible that cursed is the man who puts trust in another man," Ruto said on Sunday, as reported by the Daily Nation.
The deputy president went on to add that Kenya would not accept "alien mannerisms" which are not in line with African culture.
"Those who believe in other things, that is their business," Ruto said, referencing Obama's support of same-sex marriage. Kenyans, he said, believe in God.
Ruto noted that the African country is grateful for the aid it has received from America, saying, "America has made tremendous contribution to Kenya's well-being and we are very grateful, and as a government we are ready to receive any help from America that will improve the lives of our people."
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta also dismissed Obama's comments on same-sex marriage at a separate religious event on Sunday.
Last week in Senegal, Obama commended the U.S. Supreme Court's rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8, and encouraged African governments to reconsider their policies toward homosexuality.
While speaking alongside Senegalese President Macky Sall during the opening leg of his Africa trip last Thursday, Obama said the recent Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage were a "victory for American democracy."
"When it comes to people's personal views and their religious faith, I think we have to respect the diversity of views that are there," Obama said at the press conference, as reported by U.S. News & World Report.
"But when it comes to how the state treats people, how the law treats people, I believe that everybody has to be treated equally. I don't believe in discrimination of any sort," Obama added.
President Sall responded to Obama by contending that Senegal is not "homophobic," and added that the country is "not ready to decriminalize homosexuality."
Currently, homosexuality is considered a crime in Kenya and Senegal. According to the Pew Research Center, 90 percent of Kenyans disapprove of homosexuality, while 96 percent of Senegalese feel the same.
Obama concludes his three-country Africa tour in Tanzania, speaking alongside Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete at a joint press conference on Monday regarding the importance of trade and partnership on the African continent.
|Welcome to Tanzania Obama and the family|
|President Obama and Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete Dancing Ngoma|
Prior to visiting Tanzania, the president made stops in Senegal and South Africa.
|Michelle Obama greeting some Tanzania officials|
According to AllAfrica.com, Obama neglected to visit Kenya on this trip, saying it would not be an "appropriate time" to visit due to the crimes against humanity charges currently facing President Kenyatta and Deputy President Ruto on behalf of the International Criminal Court.
Kenyatta has been accused of allegedly planning and funding violence following the country's 2007-2008 election in the cities of Naivasha and Nakuru.
White House spokesman Ben Rhodes told PBS that the U.S. has "a commitment to accountability and justice as a baseline principle. And given the fact that Kenya is in the aftermath of their election and the new government has come into place and is going to be reviewing these issues with the [International Criminal Court] and the international community, it just wasn't the best time for the president to travel to Kenya at this point."