In the Oct. 18th edition of The Daily Nation, news reporter Mathias Ringa used problematic language to refer to Charles Ngengi and Daniel Chege Gichia, two Kenyans who wed in London, when writing about the Kenyan-governmental committee’s failure to protect the rights of gay and transgender people.
The headline stated: “Law review experts rule out rights for homosexuals.”
In the story Ringa wrote:
“As the debate continues over the same-sex marriage of two Kenyan men in London, the team writing a new constitution on Sunday ruled out enshrining the rights of homosexuals.”
Also in the article, Noor Ali, was identified as a Reuters correspondent and was quoted saying:
“Gay issues are not acceptable in our society and therefore the experts should not waste time on such unnatural acts. How can a Kenyan marry another man when there are many women out there looking for men to marry them?”
GLAAD contacted Reuters, to inform them of the problematic language used in Ali's quote as well as to encourage them to take action and address this situation. Both in terms of publicly addressing Noor Ali’s anti-gay comments and in terms of working internally that anti-gay attitudes, sentiments, and prejudices are not being publicly endorsed by Reuters’ news professionals.
A Thomson Reuters spokesperson clarified that Ali is an occasional contractor and not a contributor.
"Reuters has more than 150 years' history of fair and unbiased reporting. Mr. Noor Ali is an occasional contractor for Reuters and attended a journalists meeting in a personal capacity. He does not speak on behalf of our news organization and his views do not reflect our company's global diverse work force."
We also contacted The Daily Nation, requesting that they correct the story to omit the term “homosexual,” to change the word “bride” in the photo caption to describe Mr.Chege Gichia, to change “same-sex marriage” to “marriage” and to use Associated Press guidelines. We also requested The Daily Nation publish a follow-up story to balance the reporting in the original piece.
GLAAD is continuing to reach out to The Daily Nation to address these concerns.