The newly promulgated law banning same sex marriage, commonly known as anti-gay law, has generated a lot of heat and debate. But what is interesting is that most of these debates lack substance and are merely emotive without intellectual response or solution. Does the law ban homosexual activity or homosexual marriage? I have been surfing the net to find an e-copy of this law without success, so I am relying on comments by Nigerian Newspapers and activists to decipher the content.
Most of those in favour of the Act, hinge their defence on religion and culture, while those against it, adduce respect for human right, particularly right to privacy and opinion which they have simply codified as right to sexual preference.
Those who are relying on religion and culture fail to understand that culture, which religion is an integral part of, is evolutionary and environmentally conditioned. To merely denounce homosexuals because the Bible and Quran are against it, is too shallow and shows lack of understanding of the origin of the religion they practice. I am not vast in the Quran or the Hadith but I have an above average understanding of the Bible; so for this argument I shall rely copiously on the Bible and ask Islamic scholars to marshal out quranic verses in defence of this bill.
According to Christian scholars, God created Adam and Eve and not Adam and Steve and had God wanted homosexuality, he would have created the later pair. Furthermore, the city of Sodom was destroyed because of homosexuality (Sodomy). They further claim that Romans 1:26-29, is a seal of approval from God against homosexuality.
What these Christian enthusiasts fail to tell us, is the origin of homosexuality by biblical account. Romans cited above said that “God gave them up to vile affection…”Should God then be blamed for causing homosexuality? The frequently cited Sodom story in Genesis Chapter 19, started from Chapter 18, where God told Abraham why he wanted to destroy Sodom because of…the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great and because their sin is very grievous…(verse 20), God never mentioned inordinate use of woman or men as contained in Romans 1:26-29. Sodom was not destroyed because men of the city wanted to sleep with the Angels that came to save Lot. If I am wrong, what was the punishment given to the Benjamites who made the same demand like the Sodomites and unlike the Sodomites did rape a woman to death?(Judges 19:16-29.) Instead of wiping out Benjamites like Sodom, the men went to war against their brother.(Judges 20-21) It may also interest you to read 2nd Samuel 1:26
Homosexuality is not foreign to Africa, it has been a sub group sexual behaviour which most African societies saw as deviant sexual appetite, a ritual for rite of passage in some elite cult groups, their practitioners were deemed possessed by the gods but in the wake of globalization, the western world is trying to popularize it.
The social content of culture is highly dynamic and changes faster than a chameleon in the midst of a prism. Once upon a time, it was taboo to indulge in any other sexual position other than missionary position. Even in England, kissing was once banned. But now in Africa, any man insisting on the old missionary position is seen as unromantic, sexually timid and unsophisticated and selfish as the woman like a log of wood, will not get the full benefit of the action. Some heterosexuals also practice anal penetration and cunnilingus is now glorified as the ultimate show of respect for the female holiest shrine, while blow job is enjoyed by male with the African adage “instead of your cow should run away, cut its tail” or the street wise saying, “at all at all n aim worse pass”
Those who are opposed to this Law are more organised and do marshal out well reasoned responses to the religious/cultural bias. Homosexual’s appeal to personal right to freedom of expression, right to private and family life and right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion(Chapter iv of 1999 Constitution) are potent weapons in their arsenal and cannot be easily overlooked. To deny them their right as a minority sexual group, is also an invitation to the denial of other minority groups their rights. Homosexual groups have stood side by side with other minority groups to fight for equality and it will be hypocrisy to deny them of support now they are coming out of their closet.
But they should be told that in democracy, the minority can have their say but the majority will have their way; this is the tyranny of the majority. They should obey the law as it is or mobilize to disobey it and face the consequences. Their disobedience may draw attention to their plight and cause the law to be repealed. They lost the momentum when the Act was still a Bill, they should have continued the protest which was on the front burner during the public hearing; but they ran back to USA/UK and left their Nigerian counterparts without direction. Had they lobbied their homosexual partners in government, this Act would have been on the table of Mr. President just like other bills of pressing national importance awaiting his accent.
Another thing they should do is to ask homosexuals in high political offices to come out of their closet or their hypocrisy be exposed. If they are waiting for the human right/civil society organizations in Nigeria to mobilize for them, they had better think twice as the members of the civil society are victims of their religion and culture. We know that some of these NGO collects money from foreign donors whose patrons are homosexuals and this clash has made them to be missing in action on this needful debate.
Religiously, this world is a battle between good and evil and good will only win when the almighty God comes to the aid of good; after what the Christians call Armageddon that will usher in a sinless place called Paradise.(Revelations 16:16, Matthew 13:24-30. See also Surah 4:57,13:34,51:12-14)
The defenders of puritan African culture should start counter cultural revolution aimed at erecting a gate to check the influx of foreign cultures. The first port of call should be the entertainment industry. Parroting it is against our culture without conscious effort to protect our culture will not stop the surge of the popularization of homosexual incursion into Africa.
Written by Che Oyinatumba www.sunnewsonline.com