Religion and being Queer in Africa....
You know, I cannot seem to leave this topic. Cause, I am queer, and African, and I am bashed left right and centre by people who claim they know god.
Friend of ours has been having problems. He is straight, married, with family. A believer, a Christian. But, he is also a friend to us, a gay couple. Doesnt believe in the bigotry that the rest of the believers have. He is friends with kuchus in Uganda generally.
But, that is the problem. He is eating with sinners. Maybe he promotes the sin? The sin of homosexuality....!
So, he was thrown out of his church, with his family.
Talking about being more Christian than Christ.... don't know the details. Heard them second hand. Doesnt stop me from being mad, mad, mad. Because, far as I know, Jesus did eat with sinners.. and he was condemned by Pharisees for that. I don't mind being called a sinner. Fellow Ugandans think I am worse than a demon. Their pastors tell them so. But, my friend minds, and so I have to mind....
African activist takes a look at the constraints that religious people in Africa generally hold on our human rights. Not as just against gay people. An article worth reading actually. He examines the stance of the former president of Botswana. Clearly, the guy has his concerns. And, he is logical. He doesnt understand the stand by the zealots to violently condemn what they don't understand. Or, what they don't believe. Why arent gay people worth of human rights. [Of course, unless they are not human....]
I did not come out in support of gay rights but I did come out in support of human rights. I am not a pro-gay activist. I say I don't understand the sexual preference but they are entitled to it and therefore they should not be discriminated against, it should not be criminalised.
I can't understand why you say that homosexuality is un-African when there is evidence that it has always existed and exists today as it does elsewhere in the world. And therefore it appears to me that homosexuality whether we understand it or not or whether we like it or not is as African as it is European as it is Asian...We are trying to pursuade the rest of Africa and show them that homophobia is unjustified.
Being an activist does not make me lose my sense of what is logical, and the fact that my ally may find it tough to support me. I accept what my ally offers to me, a space for dialogue, as opposed to those who want no dialogue, because, quote, being gay is un-African.
What am saying is that I understand my friends sacrifice, being called and shamed in front of people that he shares faith with. And, Mogae of Botswana not being willing to lose an election because of a gay friendly stance... (Obama for his nuanced position on gay marriage?)
I am a pariah. And, good hearted believers in god and gods will seek to kill me in the name of the purity of the country and continent I share with them. Yes. A depressing thought. Read the article. It is worth the time. Here.
So, in Uganda, Ssempa was enraged when the opposition candidate dared to mention something vaguely supportive of human rights in the just concluded presidential campaign. And, same thing is happening in Zambia, according to African activist.
The church has vowed to campaign against Patriotic Front (PF) president Michael Sata for advocating gay rights.
And Chief Government spokesperson Lieutenant-General Ronnie Shikapwasha said what Mr Sata is advocating is an abomination and the church must rise against such leaders.
"Churches that believe in Jesus Christ should condemn Mr Sata's statement because the bible condemns it as an abomination," he said.
Yes, it is politically incorrect to mention, even vaguely, anything about human rights for gay people in Africa. In Malawi, why... that deserves a blog post of its own....
I mean, religious leaders were called to take part in an HIV prevention campaign. Gay people were mentioned. The religious leaders were adamant. Death to the gay is the punishment mandated by the Bible, and Quaran, these principled leaders stated.
We have come far. A lot of distance we still have to cover. Just hope we continue to have the strength to walk and run and crawl it.