NAIROBI, Kenya -- The push to pass a new constitution in Kenya, a cornerstone of the effort to correct longstanding imbalances of power and prevent the kind of upheaval that followed deeply flawed elections here, has attracted some unexpected interference -- from more than 7,000 miles away.
Before Kenyan lawmakers had even finished drafting the proposed constitution, American Christians organized petition drives in Kenya against it, objecting to a provision recognizing Islamic courts.
Now that the draft is done, three Republican members of Congress contend that it significantly expands abortion rights, and are accusing the United States Embassy in Kenya of openly supporting it in violation of federal rules.
It is the latest battle in the American culture wars playing out in Africa. Last year, American Christians helped stoke antigay sentiments in Uganda; later, Ugandan politicians proposed the execution of some gay people. That debate is still raging, though it looks as if the Ugandan government is backing down and will not pass the antigay bill after all.
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