Why do our countries hold us in such contempt?
Us, as in gay people. Why do they think that we are so bad?
It is a matter of fact that, in some Arab and African countries, gay people are mandated the death penalty. By law. Few people dispute that, because it is simple matter of fact.
Then, there is this almost meaningless, once in a couple of years, resolution, which condemns extra judicial killing of people.
There are many cartegories of people that are on the resolution, which, like many UN resolutions, is nothing more than words on paper.
But, African and Arab countries led the removal of those words from the resolution. Words specifying sexual orientation. They cry about the imposition of 'western imperialism'. They complain that we, as in me, gug, we are sell outs. They complain about our rights not tramping their sovereignty..,
Why do they hold our lives, my life as a gay human being, so much in contempt?
Recurrent argument I have been having with Comrade 27th. How can you, my brothers and sisters, expect me to be more 'patriotic' than you? When that patriotism means that you want me in prison, and even expect me to die bravely, in the name of culture and 'sovereignty? Surely, there would be something wrong with me for me to lie down and accept such a state of affairs?
Well, I do affirm, I am gay, and I am proud.
And, for the results of that resolution, I roundly applaud the US government which came out and showed real leadership. Yes, it does help for us to have some friends in high places, including a strong gay lobby in the western world. Because, my own brothers and sisters would rather see me die, and kept in prison, than that I live and stay alive.
Western delegations were disappointed last month when the U.N. General Assembly's human rights committee approved an Arab and African proposal to cut the reference to slayings due to sexual orientation from a resolution on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions.
The committee's move also had outraged human rights activists and groups that lobby for gay rights. Philippe Bolopion of Human Rights Watch (HRW) said at the time that it was a "step backwards" and "extremely disappointing."
The 192-nation General Assembly approved a U.S. amendment to the resolution that restored the reference to sexual orientation with 93 votes in favor, 55 against and 27 abstentions. The amended resolution was then adopted with 122 yes votes, none against and 59 abstentions.
The main opposition to the U.S. amendment came from Muslim and African nations, which had led the push to delete the reference to sexual preference from the resolution last month.
The General Assembly passes resolutions condemning extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions and other killings every two years. The 2008 declaration had included an explicit reference to killings committed because of the victims' sexual preferences.
In addition to slayings over sexual orientation, the resolution specifies many other types of violence -- killings for racial, national, ethnic, religious or linguistic reasons and killings of refugees, indigenous people and other groups.
Prior to the vote, Zimbabwe's U.N. Ambassador Chitsaka Chipaziwa slammed the U.S. amendment, saying there was no need to refer explicitly to sexual orientation.
"We will not have it foisted on us," he said. "We cannot accept this, especially if it entails accepting such practices as bestiality, pedophilia and those other practices many societies would find abhorrent in their value systems.
Why, why, Africa, motherland, do your children hate me so much?
Rhetorical question. I will not bother myself with seeking answers to that. I am a soldier in the frontline. I will leave the reasoning to the academics. What is for me is that, a major victory has been won. And, despite the angry opposition, the shouts of 'traitor', 'imperialism', 'patriotism', and 'africanism'... I am happy that life goes on.
It was a major victory. And, thanks to the US allies. And, the Obama administration.
We continue to fight.
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