MTWAPA, Kenya — Kenya police on Friday arrested five suspected homosexuals in a coastal resort town after hundreds of residents protested over a planned gay wedding, a local official said.
The five were among would-be guests at the wedding, which was meant to be secret. Residents learned about it and alerted the police, who raided a house and nabbed the men.
Homosexuality is illegal in Kenya and it was unclear who was to officiate at the marriage.
Local district official George Matundura said the couple who were to marry escaped from Mtwapa, a vibrant party town to the north of Kenya's coastal city of Mombasa, where the wedding reception was to be held.
Matundura said the five -- aged between 20 and 35 -- will "undergo a medical examination before we charge them with homosexuality."
"We will move swiftly and close down bars which condone gays, lesbians, prostitution and drug abuse in their premises," he added.
"We are grateful to the public for alerting the police. They should continue cooperating with the police to arrest more."
Muslim and Christian clerics condemned the planned marriage.
"We cannot allow these young boys to ruin their future through homosexuality," said Sheikh Ali Hussein of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya. "We shall use all means to curb this vice."
Bishop Lawrence Chai of the National Council of Churches of Kenya told reporters: "This is immoral and we shall not allow it, especially here in Mtwapa."
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