Anti-LBTQ+ and Western attitudes toward Africa

The United States and the United Nations have called on Ugandan President Yoweri K. Museveni to retract his country’s anti-gay bill yet to be signed into law, on March 21, calling it “appalling.” “We would have a look at whether or not there might be repercussion that we would have to take, perhaps in an economic way, should this law actually get passed,” says John Kirby, spokesperson for the National Security Council. The main elements in the bill include the following:

“A Person who is convicted of grooming or trafficking children to engage them in homosexual activities faces life in prison.

Individuals and institutions which support or fund LGBT rights activities also face prosecution.

According to @ubctvuganda, there is a proposed 20-year jail term for ‘any entity that funds or promotes any form of homosexuality.’”

This equally appalling response to the Ugandan government’s anti-gay stance of the West smacks more of imperialism and paternalism. It is disrespectful and anachronistic and a perpetuation of the cheeky attitudes long harbored against the continent. We think it is racist and rude to threaten Africa with sanctions, both economic and political, just because they do not want to recognize Africans’ right to prevent what is regarded as immoral and unjust in our culture and traditions.

Already, the president, his wife and deputy president of neighboring Kenya have openly condemned LGBTQ+. Ghana is also in the process of passing an anti-gay legislation with the support of a majority of lawmakers, including the speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin. Indeed, a number of African countries have expressed anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments.

Throughout history polygamy, the custom of having more than one wife has been practiced in many cultures, including Christian Europe and America. Fewer cultures practice polyandry. In 1862, the Morrill Act outlawed polygamy in the U.S., and as recent as 1973 England and Wales under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 abolished polygamy. Western cultures abolished polygamy and signaled Africa to follow suit.

Notwithstanding, the Mormons still practice polygamy in Utah and elsewhere in the United States. Western imperialistic agenda underlying its Christian thought continues to do more harm than good. Its agenda to Christianize Africa was a cover-up to exploit the continent’s resources. It was not and has never been spiritually sustainable.  African cultures and traditions that sustained the continent even through the wicked times of exploitation of the continent have been stymied.

If the US and its Western allies are so passionately protective of gayism, we posit that the most decent thing to do is to open their doors to them and absorb them as persons persecuted on grounds of sexual orientation where they come from.  The West has foisted so many things on Africa, but it has been proven time and time again to be anti-development and rather destructive to the African way of life.  Assimilation to European ways of life has never been successful. It has rather been an exercise in backwardness and an abuse of power. The French colonial policy of Assimilation for instance sought to undermine the African’s thought process and therefore identity.

How does a gay African identify with his Africanity? Homosexuality is considered by Africans as unnatural. In fact, most Africans perceive the practice as animalistic and beastly, and consider the West’s response to Uganda and her African kin as insulting. America’s perception of Africans as inhuman to gays denying them their democratic rights of freedom of choice is indeed hypocritical and arrogant, for democracy is neither European nor a European invention or discovery. Democracy is embedded in every culture in the world and the freedom of choice is a fundamental to it. The issue of homosexuality is not akin to racism where an entire race of people is discriminated against because of their skin color.  It is a lifestyle that does not define anyone on any grounds other than their sexual behavior.  The practice is not new. Many historical figures lived and died as homosexuals. The world in their times knew but what they did in their privacy did not become a public affair, neither did they pitch their lifestyle as worthy of emulation.

We at Amandla will continue to insist on the human rights of gays in any legislation as long as attempts are not made to foist it on the populace as a right. We believe it is a moral issue that must not be encouraged to fester.

Africans are not happy to be subjected to selective sanctions because of homosexuality. Unfortunately, that is the problem. In the global Islamic community, LGBTQ+ issues have not been tolerated following the dictates of the Quran. Most Muslim majority countries and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have opposed moves to advance LGBTQ+ rights at the United Nations. The Quran and the hadith strongly condemn homosexual activity, with some hadith prescribing the death penalty for those who engage in male homosexual or lesbian intercourse publicly. For economic reasons, America looks away as gays continue to be tortured and persecuted.

It must be told that homosexuality is not only a white European thing. Among the Akan people in Ghana, they are known as Kojo Besia. They mostly live alone and could be child abusers as well. In their communities they enjoy freedom of movement and live quietly. Even though the practice is abhorred it is not a basis for discrimination but their own apprehension for an occasional attack could be triggered by a suspicious citizen. In other words, the Kojo Besias among the people may not be considered pariah, they know by now that their sexual orientation has so far been tolerated but it won’t be long, anyway, when they would be outlawed as awareness of their situations grow among their neighbors.

Africa should be left alone to handle the homosexual issue with minimum interference from the West, because the continent has no plans to foist any part of its culture on any sovereign nations.

Posted by on Mar 29 2023. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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