Homophobic epithets

Last week the new Archbishop of Nigeria, Nicholas Okoh who replaces Peter Akinola, restated the church’s disapproval of “homosexual lifestyle and same sex marriages” – first lesson homosexuality is not a lifestyle. This article by Nigerian, Paul I. Adujie, asks why the focus on sexuality and same sex desire when the continent is beset with violence against women well lets actually correct that and say there is a war against women, a hatred, there is poverty, corruption and inter religious and ethnic violence. Why the focus on LGBTI people? Is this not a distraction from the real challenges facing African countries?

Why could Nelson Mandela forgive the racist fascist apartheid regime who tormented hm for 27 years in prison and the degradation of millions of African lives – people who had no redeeming factors whatsoever, yet he could not forgive his wife’s infidelities and failings. But then as a friend pointed out, forgiveness is also gendered. Why do people attack the most vulnerable, the easy targets of hate yet the real violence, the real wrongs in our societies go unchecked and unchallenged?

Although the piece is extremely annoying in it’s repetitiveness and ends up being a rant about sexual pleasure at the expense of development and good governance etc – the writer does ask some pertinent questions around the obsession with LGBTI people by religious and political leaders.

Why is it so important for Nigeria, Uganda and now, Malawi to squander public resources in the repression of homosexuals and lesbians citizens within these African nations? It is just astonishing that some African nations focus on the persecution of homosexuals, gays and lesbians, instead of the more important focus on continental development….Why is it that political and religious leaders in these nations seem to see or interpret homosexual and lesbians sexual preferences and practices as if more of existential threats and or, inimical to the pursuits of health, wealth and happiness than say, malaria, AIDS, unemployment, unclean water, broken and decrepit public infrastructures?………

I am a heterosexual male and I do not believe that my sexual preference makes me remarkable………..Besides, I also believe in the Human Rights of all persons regardless of such persons’ sexual preferences. I, We, Nigerians, Ugandans, South Africans, Malawians, Americans or anyone for that matter, do not have to have the same sexual interests or preferences as a basis or predicate for advocating the rights of others, others, who are unlike us.

I strongly believe that Nigerians, South Africans, Ugandans and Malawians and others, should be able to advocate the rights of homosexuals and lesbians citizens amongst us, even if we are decidedly heterosexuals. Just the same way in which we may be able to recognize the rights of others to practice their choice of preferred religion, even if we ourselves are of a different religious faith or are faithless, agnostic or atheists ourselves. Continue reading

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]