There is a strong visceral reaction against homosexuality amongst African community anywhere. It finally boiled to the surface when Rev. Akinola rejected gay Bishops in the churches of United States. This has won him followers in the conservative churches in the world but watch out. Many of us so called liberals think we are all created by God and must not discriminate on the basis of sex, gender, creed and color of the skin.
Many would rather tolerate gays than Mormon polygamists. It confuses unsophisticated minds who think that Africans should be the last to reject anyone’s behavior on the basis of their sexual orientation. The notion is that their gay attitudes like skin colors are not subject to our control. Many blacks feel insulted by this insinuation, to say the least.
There are arguments and disputes whether one can be naturally gay and if so, whether we can discriminate against the children of God. There is also no doubt that it can be a learned behavior and the tolerance of it will encourage innocent children and adolescents in their experimental and formative stages to gravitate towards gay behavior. The view between nurture and nature regarding this behavior will continue, as always.
The real belief among Africans is that homosexuality as a behavior of choice or not, can not be compared to being black. The simple reason is that homosexuality as a behavior can be hidden but the color of one’s skin stands out before anything else. Black people have no control to switch on or off their color until they feel comfortable. While it is true that a light skin Spaniard, Italian, Jew or Arab can change their name in US and blend in without detection in the white world, the African black can not.
It might not be totally unreasonable then for gay people to compare themselves to a Jew, Arab or Romanian Gipsy but not to Africans who feel black and proud of their whole being. Africans have long world history of accomplishments for who they are. The pride rest on that and on what they can also accomplish as African without any reservation. Africans have also borne the cross of their color in different parts of the world from the nineteen century when some pseudo historians tried to rewrite history or some conquerors tried to destroy African civilization and claim it as theirs in ancient Ife, Sudan and Egypt.
Moreover, they point to some closet homosexual African leaders that have turned many business partners into “girlfriends” especially in Nigeria. We know them but hardly speak about it until Gideon Orkar coup condemning “homosexually-centered corrupt” leaders. It was tolerated in certain parts of our Country amongst these well placed individuals who made sure proposed ban in the House failed. Outsiders think that we must be hypocrites to reject the same type of behavior outside our Continent. I hasten to note that all of the religious bodies frown at this behavior in Nigeria, with a stiff penalty in sharia court.
Amongst Africans outside the Continent, homosexuality also has deadly consequences especially in black women who hardly realize that their other halves are gays. AIDS virus has spread into minority population more than it has in the white community, or the gay communities in the USA because of unequal access to healthcare. A stigma that has sent highly respected preachers and politicians in the US into repentance when exposed.
However the spread of AIDS virus in Africa has no direct relationship to the gay community as it was in the States in the seventies. As it started to become the minority disease in US, they turned the Haitians into scapegoats. Many medical scientists from that Country recalled how repulsive it was to be gay in their Country. Indeed, gays were ridiculed as Volkswagens because that car has its engine at the back.
Apart from the moral point of view, Africans generally are very cautious when it comes to tolerating gay men. Many Africans and the rest of the world think it defeats the real purpose of procreation as dictated by nature. The acceptance and end result will be self destruction and the wrath of God as in Sodom and Gomorrah. Neither African customary laws nor some western countries tolerate it. A few US States still retain old law against it.
This is how people come to view gay people in the community and since we fight for the rights of others, we can not exclude the right of the gay people. They have gained ground over several years in the Western world and now they celebrate how far they have come in their gay parade. The politicians looking for votes have even joined these parades and approved civil unions for gays.
This is a far cry from 1972 when Nixon campaign sneaked gay imitators into McGowan’s rallies. People were turned off, wondering what would become of America if McGowan won. I am not sure how different that was to the one the same Republican Party used in 2004 presidential election in Ohio black churches, tipping the votes in their favor.
African achievements in civilization or civil rights were not as a result of sexual orientation but as a whole human. It was not what one could do with the front part of our anatomy that others could do with the backside of their anatomy. So being gay cut across all creed, color and race. It is only a part of the whole being and that is why many Africans feel insulted by referring to their struggle as equal to a behavior or certain characteristic of being human. Sexual orientation is also a part of being black. So we have black gays.
Nevertheless, we should all fight for human liberation as a whole. As we divide ourselves into gender, sexual orientation, creed and color we leave a vacuum for our oppressors to invade and use us against one another. This is why others see contradiction in African struggle when they oppose gays. While sexual orientation or gender should not dictate our ability to lead, it must not divide us.
In the same America, Mormon polygamists are being thrown into jail if they flaunt it but if they keep it under rap, they are tolerated. In Africa, we have no problem with any polygamist who can afford to take care of his household, as long as he does not commit a crime. It may boils down to the fact that while America may tolerate homosexuality, Africans see nothing wrong with polygamy. Which is worse or which is better?
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Femi Cotonou, Benin November 21, 2007
When society celebrate abnormality then such society is on the way of self destruction. Talking of homosextuality, this culture originate from the west and to every culture with origin from the west, there will always be a scientific backing for it. Let the people of the west give us a scientific evidence for man or woman having sex with animal. May be the man or woman in question have sextual orientation towards animal or the animal have sextual orientation towards man or woman. Freedom is good but must have a limit. The desire to be free and feel free in the western world has led to all this bad culture gaining ground.
May be one day a serial killer too will be justified with scientific evidence that he or she has killing orientation in a part of his or her brain. I have leant something from the west that what u do is influence by 1. Ur environment (be it an environment that approve or disapprove a way of life); 2. ur knowledge (knowing that ur society accept a way of life or not); 3. experience (whether u had experience of one act or not); 4. ur personal judgement or value of what is obtain in ur society; and 5. ur personal desire. All these contributes to one accepting a satanic act as holy or the other way round.
Skin color can never be compare and should never be compare with homosextualism. Skin u cannot change on ur own but there are people that change their sextual orientation even after years of been gay.
Gaga Ekeh Stafford, USA November 15, 2007
Brother Martins:Long time. How have you been? Don't you just love a website without popups?!!
;-) But to the matter at hand. I have the same aversion to homosexuality that many men have because I like milk from cows and I used to like, in much the same way, milk from my mother. So, I see women as food, to be nibbled on and munched on in much the same way that one would eat akara and dodo. My wife must be edible. The milk of a man is different from the milk of a woman. If a cow is not forthcoming, then my children and I will milk my wife. But the milk of a man is not natural. It is where my aversion to homosexuality comes from. Reverend Akinola is a traditional man but his priorities are not in order.
Homosexuality is unnatural but it MUST logically be less a sin than theft, slander and the sorts of petty grievances because of which honest Nigerians find it hard to live within the boundaries of Nigeria. Interesting article...
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