By Dunstan Ukaga
As a Christian kid, I was taught to see homosexuality as an abomination that destroys a nation. Primarily I was taught by the church that homosexuality is a sin hated by God and a sin hated by mankind too. As my catechist would ask then:
”Had any man produced a child by marrying another man?”
We shouted, ARU!! (Abomination). Such picture scared the hell out of us. We never forgot the scary pictures of a burning Sodom and Gomorrah as often read from the bible. What was their action? Homosexuality. As an African child, we have respected culture, customs and traditions which also support the mainstream biblical point of view against homosexuality or sodomy.
Simply put, no African society, culture or tradition accepts homosexuality as a way of life. No matter what the politicians may say in its favour, no matter what the West offers to support homosexuality, Africans see it as an abomination that causes desolation. Should the West not respect us to practice our culture, customs and traditions?
A ban on gay marriage and gay clubs with penalties of up to 14 years jail was signed into law by Nigeria’s president last week, according to disclosures made in Abuja on Monday. It follows similar legislation recently adopted by parliament in Uganda. Nigerian presidential spokesman Reuben Abati said Monday, Goodluck Jonathan had signed the bill.
The news agency Associated Press said it had obtained a copy dated Tuesday, January 7. Nigeria’s new Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill bans gay encounters and clubs and threatens public displays of same-sex relationships with up to 10 years in prison. Persons who “enter into a same-sex marriage contract or civil union” face 14 years prison if convicted. “Only a marriage contract between a man and a woman shall be recognized as valid in Nigeria,” the new law states.
This is what a typical African person accepts and recognizes as marriage. According to our belief and thinking, marriage should be contracted between a man or woman or between a man and women. This is the Africa world view. The West cannot change it. As the law was signed in Nigeria, there were condemnations. But it has come to stay as a law.
Condemnation came from US Secretary of State Kerry, who said the new law “dangerously restricts freedom of assembly … and expression for all Nigerians.” Amnesty International had previously urged Jonathan to reject the bill, saying it would have “catastrophic” consequences for Nigerian lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender community. But where is this community of gays in Nigeria found? I do not know yet.
Nigeria was breaking not just its own constitution but a raft of international agreements said veteran gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell. The executive director of the pro-gay Initiative for Equality in Nigeria, Olumide Makanjuola, recently warned that “poor, gay Nigerians” would suffer under the law. Many rich Nigerians with gay tendencies had already left the country, or said they would fly elsewhere to have sex, she said.
Sincerely, I do not know about which African parent [even those domiciled in the West] would love his son or daughter to be gay. This is one taboo an African cannot accept no matter how much you brainwash him or her. It is unAfrican. Anti-gay sentiment is rife in Nigeria and Africa. Abati said 90 percent of Nigerians were opposed to same-sex marriage. “So, the law is in line with our cultural and religious beliefs as a people,” he said.
Of Nigeria’s 170-million population, roughly half are Christian and half Muslim. Others follow traditional religious beliefs and none of these beliefs accept homosexuality. Since the approval of gay rights, marriages and in the west, a lot of my peeps are asking questions. Are these not the same people that brought us Christianity and taught us to see homosexuality as an abomination? Has biblical truths become moribund and archaic? Are truths now subjective? Is the west really playing on our intelligence? Shall we discard the bible?
The same people that taught me to flee from homosexuality now want me to accept it as a way of life. These are what I need answers to.
This article was first published today on AfricaWorld Newspaper, Dublin.
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