Apparently, homosexuality is so illegal in Kenya that even a music video celebrating same-sex marriage is enough reason for their government to order Google/YouTube to block total access to it. Honestly, this is happening in 2016. Uploaded nearly a month ago, LGBT musicians Art Attack have felt the wrath of their country, but in an amazing turn of events – YouTube is now on their side.
The music video for Same Love, a remix of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ song of the same title, shows male and female same-sex relationships and imagery. However, in a country riddled with harsh anti-gay laws, this ‘behaviour’ could warrant these individuals a shocking 14 years in prison simply for expressing love to their significant others. The Kenya Film Classification Board denied their acceptance the video because “it does not adhere to the morals of the country”, but thankfully Google Kenya as ignored their threats and kept the music video up on their site.
Speaking to A Plus, the band behind the controversial music video spoke more about their reasons behind creating Same Love; “We created this video first and foremost because we are artists and also because we were very much alive to the great challenges and tribulations that LGBT persons go through in Kenya and Africa as a whole. We hoped that by doing this song, we would change how society views us, spur the government to repeal some of its laws and decriminalise homosexuality and also create an environment of acceptance and coexistence between straight Kenyans and their gay counterparts”.
Fortunately, whilst the Kenyan government thought otherwise, their ban has brought the music video great exposure and visibility with it now gaining over 150,000 views in a month. A spokesperson from Google released a statement that talks more about how they deal with appeals and video bans; “We review government removal requests when notified through the correct legal processes and in keeping with out company philosophy on transparency and freedom of expression”. So it looks like the video will be going absolutely no where soon.
The final word comes from Art Attack once again, by showing their appreciation for Google and their support during this time; “We obviously greatly applaud Google Kenya for choosing to have the video still stay up on YouTube all this time. We deeply appreciate that they didn’t budge and didn’t give in to the government threats and orders and decided to do what is right and let people express themselves freely without having to have their rights trampled on”.
What do you think about the music Same Love? Should it be allowed to stay on YouTube even though it was created and uploaded in a country where it’s content are illegal? Or, should people be allowed to upload and express whatever they want – it’s just their government that has a problem. Let us know in the comments!