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Page last updated at 17:02 GMT, Thursday, 11 February 2010

Kenya chiefs block Mombasa 'gay wedding'

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Local chiefs and Kenyan officials have prevented a planned "gay wedding" in Kenya - where such unions are illegal.

The marriage had been due to take place in a private villa near the resort of Mombasa but chiefs took action after it was reported in the local press.

"I was shocked... I won't allow it," Chief Hussein Swaleh told the BBC.

Homosexuality has become a hot topic in Africa after a Ugandan MP last year proposed a bill which includes the death penalty for some homosexual acts.

A couple were arrested in Malawi in January after holding an "engagement party".

Homosexual acts are illegal in most Africa countries and only South Africa allows gay weddings.

Councillors in the Mnarani area near Mombasa planned protests against the union and wanted to evict the two men from their houses.

"We had planned with our area chiefs to give them notices... and tell these people to move from our area," said councillor Esther Kache.

The BBC's Odhiambo Joseph says the wedding party left the area in three minibuses before the marriage could go ahead.



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