Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Some views from across the Continent

Remember the article on an anti-gay demonstration in Takoradi, Ghana that I did post about here? Well, seems the ‘talk’ about gay people in that West African country is taking the usual path. And, a very interesting one at that. Just gotten across a dissection of the whole hypocrisy of being ‘anti-gay’. Good reading.
The recent story of a gathering of gay men at a party in the port city of Takoradi generated a predictable rash of comments dripping with hatred, disgust and condemnation. Whilst many called for the burning, execution, decapitation or stabbing of these ‘vile’ men with their ‘disgusting’ lifestyle, others lamented the decline of Ghanaian culture and the concomitant importation of depraved western cultural values. For good measure, the bible, the Koran and African traditional religion were invoked ad nauseum as justification for the hatred of such men and their bedroom habits. Under no circumstances, it was argued, should the notion of human rights be extended to such persons, because after all, they were sub-human, doing stuff that even animals would not do. Ghanaians are at their most righteous when it comes to the sex lives of others
I love the conclusion. Rather apt….!
An amusing observation in conclusion. Many have called for the death sentence for homosexual conduct-after all the bible considers it an abomination. Fair point. Then some Ghanaian Muslims started calling for sharia law in order to deal with gays and other such ‘deviants’. Under sharia the punishment is the death penalty. You would expect the ‘Christian’ rabble rousers to nod in agreement over a common cause. But puzzlingly, they descended heavily on the Muslims and screamed that Ghana is a secular state. Really? Rather smartly, all the heterosexual adulterers and fornicators ( also abominations in the eyes of the good Lord and punishable by death according to the bible) realised that if Sharia came into being, then they would be stoned and hanged along with the sodomites, hence their outrage and protestations that Ghana is not a theocracy.
What rank hypocrisy. I am no Muslim, but I say recruit the Taleban to bring on sharia and let’s have a stoning party to deal with adultery, pornography, masturbation and sodomy, among other sins. Then let’s see how many Ghanaians--including those doing the stoning-would be left standing

You know the absurd notion that we gay Africans are not really Africans? The author of that article touches on it briefly-
At the coastal secondary school in Ghana I attended in the mid-seventies, homosexual conduct was rampant but latent, and I have no reason to believe it is any less the case now or that this was/is limited to my school. Yet most of those involved had never come into contact with a white man or seen gay pornography. It may very difficult to understand that some men drool over Michael Essien’s naked torso and tight muscles but are completely indifferent over the lovely Beyonce’s shapely figure , but that is a fact of life-. The strict Ghanaian societal expectations of yesteryear simply meant men who had sexual feelings for men were forced to bury them whilst they went through the tortuous and sometimes unhappy ritual of marriage and procreation that was expected of them, and in many instances, led double lives
And, there is this poignant letter from a gay Rwandese.

I am a Rwandan, but I am considered different because of my sexuality.
Growing up, I faced many problems in my social life, being called silly names like (Cyabakobwa and so on), or being mistreated.  This is something that still affects me in my everyday life.
I always wanted to change and be like everyone else, but after a long fight I failed: I never changed.
When I reached puberty, I started being attracted to men instead of women. I am gay.
Many people think that gay Rwandans were influenced by western cultures. This is a big lie and an insult.
I take myself as a living example: I’ve been in contact with Western Culture through the Internet for two years but I knew I was different since I was 12.
Right now, I am in my twenties and nothing has changed. I am still attracted to men. I’ve never told anybody since it would be called a shame and I would be an outcast in my family. It really is not easy; I didn’t choose that, and I wasn’t influenced by anybody.
I know that there are many children out there, many men and women who are in the same situation as myself.
They are misunderstood, humiliated and forced to act against their conscience, like marrying a person they don’t love.

Take heart brother. Life is tough, but, we are still there. Used to moan like so. It is true, life is real tough, being gay, and African. Great that we still are, and are here.

Pastor Dr Martin ‘eat da poo poo’ Ssempa is still going strong. Here he is featuring at a mass wedding in the northern city of Gulu, with some special friends of his.
The stadium was [decorated] with placards reading: No sodomy, No polygamy and No AIDS. Officials from Omega International said sh290m was spent in organising the mass wedding, which they said was one of the biggest so far in the north.
Pastor Martin Ssempa of Makerere Community Church prayed that the couples use their wedding rings as ammunition to fight homosexuality and sodomy in the country.

Imagine, at a mass ‘heterosexual’ wedding ceremony, taking the fight against homosexuality there…. Oh well, we Ugandans seem to have the only real, obsessive anti-gay credentials.

Now, I speak as a realist. And from lots of experience... most of the older gay Africans are in heterosexual marriages..... Hey, life is tough, and survival is not an option.
Just remember, over in Zimbabwe, a couple of activists are being very obviously accused of political offences, while everyone does know that the problem is that they are gay, and out. I didnt blog about the raid on the GALZ offices in Zimbabwe. But it is another feltering boil.



gug

10 comments:

Jacob Woods said...

Uganda is a scary place. The other day I was on a forum and there was this leader figure showing anal licking and fisting practices. Though disturbing it was not enough to make me think i was imoral.

F Young said...

"Rather smartly, all the heterosexual adulterers and fornicators (also abominations in the eyes of the good Lord and punishable by death according to the bible) realised that if Sharia came into being, then they would be stoned and hanged along with the sodomites, hence their outrage and protestations that Ghana is not a theocracy."

Personally, I think that LGBT actvists in Africa should make the specter of theocracy and religious extremism their key argument. Given that the antigay forces are so overwhelming, I suspect this is their most effective argument, since it uses their power against them.

Homophobia is probably too strong to be countered directly in most of Africa. However, I expect that both the Christians and the Muslims fear theocracy when they are in the minority.

Indeed, theocracy destroys freedom of religion because it means that the government imposes one religion on everyone.

Theocracy and religious extremism are also a threat to individual freedom (notably the freedom of straight men to masturbate and have extra-marital and pre-marital sex, as noted in the article).

Religious extremism is also a threat to civil order (pogroms, genocide, sectarian violence).

Strict separation of church and state is the only way to garantee freedom of religion. Churches should not be allowed to be involved in politics whatsoever.

Unfortunately, these arguments are most +effectively made by non-LGBT's.

F Young said...

"Rather smartly, all the heterosexual adulterers and fornicators (also abominations in the eyes of the good Lord and punishable by death according to the bible) realised that if Sharia came into being, then they would be stoned and hanged along with the sodomites, hence their outrage and protestations that Ghana is not a theocracy."

Personally, I think that LGBT actvists in Africa should make the specter of theocracy and religious extremism their key argument. Given that the antigay forces are so overwhelming, I think this is the most effective argument, since it capitalizzes on the power of churches and turns it against them.

I think that homophobia is probably too strong to be countered directly in most of Africa. However, I expect that both the Christians and the Muslims fear theocracy when they are in the minority.

Indeed, theocracy is an attack on freedom of religion because it means that the government imposes one religion on everyone.

Theocracy and religious extremism are also a threat to individual freedom (notably the freedom of straight men to masturbate and have extra-marital and pre-marital sex, as noted in the article).

Religious extremism is also a threat to civil order (pogroms, genocide, sectarian violence).

Strict separation of church and state is the only way to preserve freedom of religion. Churches should not be allowed to participate in politics whatsoever.

Unfortunately, these arguments are most effectively made by non-LGBT's.

Erik said...

Churches are another form of multinational corporations who provide an oppressive moral agenda on the "little people" while they extract the wealth of country for profit with no accountability. It's all about money.

andy said...

@Rwandan. These things happen… we are all human, sometimes we suffer from low self esteem, Shyness, Discouragement…, this always communicates to me something “ am not perfect.” Then I get to the road of working on my weaknesses.
An African saying goes “ If you tell a friend to dress their wound, and they do not, you join the mockers to.” It is said that “Character is developed, but not born.”
Our character is influenced by the families we grew up in, the peers we have, The Tv stations we watch…
But in all this, you are expected to choose the best.
As a Christian my choices have been guided by the ward of God, (I mean, from my family, peers and the whole society around me I have learnt things, but what does the ward of God say about them?) And this has made me acceptable in all societies I have been, though I am still struggling to make some things right on me and not ready to give up the struggle. Wish u Guys the best.

Edwin Black said...

Having lived in Ghana for some months, I became acutely aware of a pervading nature of the escalating fundamentalist sentiment directed against gay folks. Doubtless, the source of this was American evangelists who are well-financed and realise that a largely uneducated populace provide rich pickings. (It would be interesting if these misanthropists tried their luck in France – home of Camus, Genet and Satre, etc…lol!)

I can only hope that Ghanaians see sense, stay true to the philosophies of Kwame Nkrumah and reject the rhetoric of hatred and division that are unwelcome and certainly alien to their free country. By accepting Christian fundamentalism, aren’t they being complicit in yet another form of colonialism?

Regarding the unholy alliance between radicalised Moslems and Christian fundamentalists – well, it won’t last. If ever they achieved their perverted goal of exterminating/imprisoning/terrorising every gay/lesbian person in Ghana they would surely turn on each other. Kwame Nkrumah would be turning in his grave!

Edwin Black

andy said...

@Edwin, Africans dont need a white missionary to preach or teach us our own values...

I wonder why every decision made by Africans against homosexuality is blamed on a white man.

I was Born in the western part of Uganda, grew up in an extended family that is catholic,studied in schools both in my home area and outside. In all this i have never heard anything like LGBT.

We truly know our culture,roots and values we dont need any American or European to tell us about our values. In Africa, Homosexuality is an abomination.

And being a christian the bible is very clear on a very matter concerning homosexuality.

gd time

gayuganda said...

Funny.

Andy, Christianity IS a white man's religion. It was brought by the colonialists.

Like my Rwandese friend, I, and my partner are Ugandans, Africans. Born in Uganda. I was born in Kampala, my partner in the west of Uganda. We met when he came to Kampala. But, the issue is, we are Ugandans. And, the gay Ugandans are Ugandans. So it is kind of funny when you try to tell us that we cannot be Ugandan

And when you use a foreign religion to bash us.... Oh, gods!

Why the selective logic?

F Young said...

@andy

Hello Andy:

You wrote that you had never heard of LGBT's before. So I presume that none of your LGBT relatives and friends are out to you. Unfortunately, this is typical in countries where homosexuality is illegal, since this forces LGBT's to remain closeted and perhaps even enter forced marriages.

It also means that those with an anti-gay agenda are free to propagate outrageous lies and myths about LGBT's, and incite hate and violence against them, with the assurance that no one will correct the lies, much less defend LGBT's, lest they be accused of being LGBT's themselves. Thus, anti-gay opportunists can easily manipulate their followers, and the Bahati Bill is aimed at making it even easier.

So, I congratulate you on having found the GayUganda blog. It is an excellent source of factual information and intelligent analysis on the situation of gays in Africa, Uganda in particular, and on how Ugandan churches and politicians are being coached and financed by wealthy American pseudo-Christian and ex-gay church-businesses,

Selflessly and at considerable personal risk, GayUganda offers his blog to support and defend the kuchus of Uganda and advance human rights in the country he loves. His blog is a precious resource for his fellow Ugandans and Africans as it is one of the rare African sources outside South-Africa that is able to publish the truth about homosexuality. It is possible only because it is anonymous; otherwise, gug would be attacked, imprisoned and worse for courageously defending his love and his friends.

I hope you will see the GayUganda blog as an opportunity to educate yourself about homosexuality and colonialism, and perhaps even become a true disciple of Christ. By the way, Christ never spoke against homosexuality, but instead preached love and generosity. He would be insulted at those who claim to be Christian, yet promote hate, shame and violence in his name.

(continued)

F Young said...

@Andy

(See part 1 above)

Andy, it is apparent that you have much to learn and reflect upon respecting homosexuality, since you merely repeat popular myths without understanding how contradictory they are.

"@Edwin, Africans dont need a white missionary to preach or teach us our own value . . . . ."

"And being a christian the bible is very clear on a very matter concerning homosexuality."

That is, you condemn white missionaries, yet base your opposition to homosexuality on the very Bible that they brought to Uganda. The same Bible that was used to justify slavery:
http://www.religioustolerance.org/sla_bibl.htm
http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_slav1.htm
http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_slav4.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_and_slavery

And later Apartheid:
http://www.justice.gov.za/trc/report/finalreport/Volume%204.pdf at pp 65 to 79

By the way, Apartheid was supported by some of the very same American right-wing religious groups that now support anti-gay hysteria in Uganda.
http://www.publiceye.org/publications/globalizing-the-culture-wars/press-release.php

The Bible and the white missionaries who preached it was central to the colonization of sub-Saharan Africa. The Catholic Church was a colonial institution then and it continues to be today, with its doctrines still being dictated by Rome.

"We truly know our culture,roots and values we dont need any American or European to tell us about our values. In Africa, Homosexuality is an abomination."

I also note that you repeat the myth that homosexuality is unafrican.

Perhaps you were not taught the whole story of the Martyrs of Uganda. Mwanga II had sexual relations with his pages, several of whom were converted to Christianity by white missionaries. As a result, they refused to have sexual relations with him and were killed.

The fact is that pre-colonial Africa had a wide variety of gender roles, same-sex relationships and sexual practices that would today be called homosexual or transgender. Some areas also had homophobic social norms. When Uganda was a protectorate, colonial governments and churches systematically reinforced homophobia, suppressed homosexuality and limited gender roles. The first anti-homosexual law was copied from the British law.

If you want to speak about homosexuality from a traditional African viewpoint, you should educate yourself, for example by reading this article:
http://semgai.free.fr/doc_et_pdf/africa_A4.pdf
or this book: Boy-Wives and Female Husbands: Studies of African Homosexualities by Stephen O. Murray and Will Roscoe
http://books.google.com/books?id=ZjbESL6YWU0C&lpg=PP1&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false
http://books.google.com/books?id=ZjbESL6YWU0C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_atb#v=onepage&q&f=false

BTW, the title of your blog against homosexuality has a typo.

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