US President Barack Obama on Saturday called for equal rights for gays in Africa, comparing homophobia to racial discrimination he had encountered in the United States.
"I've been consistent all across Africa on this. I believe in the principle of treating people equally under the law... and the state should not discriminate on people based on their sexual orientation," Obama said during a joint news conference with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.
"When you start treating people differently, that is the path whereby freedoms begin to erode and bad things happen."
"As a African-American in the United States I am painfully aware" of the consequences of discrimination, he told reporters.
Obama said the idea a person is discriminated against "because of who they love is wrong. Full stop. The state does not need to weigh in on religious doctrine."