By Owei Lakemfa
Homosexuality has in contemporary times been hotly debated and discussed but with little attention paid to the persons involved. I have been guilty of this excessive concentration on its politics and diplomacy; its local and international misuse, and its commercialisation, to the detriment of the human beings involved.
During pregnancy, some babies may not be fully developed. This situation during fetal development may lead to birth defects such as missing limbs and other physical malfunctions. Some babies may be born without genitals; girls born without vagina are said to have vaginal agenesis.
There is also what is classified as ambigous genetalia; these are babies born without clearly defined male or female genitals. There are, of course, hermaphrodites: babies born having both male and female genitals.
There are also babies born that do not fit into the male and female binaries; a baby may be born with large clitoris but no vagina opening; another could be born with labia-like scrotum.
There are females whose bodies produce high testosterone which leads to increased muscle and bone mass giving them a male physique. This is natural and nobody should be punished for their natural makeup.
This is why I opposed the International Association of Athletics Federations, IAAF, when it ruled that 800 metres Olympics Champion, Caster Semenya must take drugs to suppress such hormone. It is possible for such females to feel they are men, just as there are males who feel they are female.
These various birth circumstances and other natural cases may lead to different sexual preferences including being chosen by nature to be homosexuals rather than they making that choice. Now, there is no way such a choice can be criminalized.
Homosexuals are as old as the rest of humanity and had not been seen as a challenge to other peoples. This was largely the case until powerful people, for their own ends, became proselytes of homosexuality and began championing it. They began presenting society as a dualistic composition and a competition between homosexuals and non-homosexuals. They present homosexuals as the minority group in society with special needs and entitled to special privileges, recognition and empowerment.
These tribe of the rich and powerful, seek to turn the world upside down like they did in Iraq; manufacturing essentially non-existent conflicts. They have gone out not just to try to promote and impose a gay culture on the rest of humanity, but also to punish people who resist. This they are doing to a number of African countries.
But the issue is not about race. It is more about those who benefit from any given situation which is the intuitive nature of the capitalist mind set.
Things got to a head in Hungary when 134 members of the Parliament on December 15, 2020, ratified a law that reinforced the right of Hungarians to self-identify in accordance with their sex at birth. The new law emphasized that: “The foundation of the family is marriage and the parent-child relationship.” It added for emphasis that: “The mother is a woman, the father is a man.”
Some other countries reacted in more drastic ways by not just criminalizing homosexuality but also exploiting popular sentiments to bare their fascist fangs by imposing the death penalty.
The challenge to homosexuality is not the sexual orientation, but its exploitation, commercialisation and weaponization.
There are well funded non-governmental organisations, NGOs, that are going round the world spreading the ‘gospel’ of homosexuality and recruiting even children. There are cartoons and films depicting homosexuality as the way of life for the powerful and rich.
There are school text books for kids on homosexuality. Soon, it may be part of the basic curriculum in nursery and primary schools. Last week, a message that went viral was titled: ‘Inclusion of sex and homosexuality in Nigerian Primary and Secondary School Textbooks’. It purports to list text books and pages promoting homosexuality, vulgarity and abortion. There are now homosexual children clothes lines in the West.
Just as some groups in the West promoted the so-called war of the sexes, so are they promoting the war of sexual orientation.
Pro-homosexual NGOs have penetrated various strata of society. Given the prevalence of poverty in many parts of Africa, the NGOs are at the mercy of Western donors and many tend to align with the changing focus of their donors.
So, if an NGO gets funding to promote homosexuality, that precisely is what it is going to do as it must justify the funds it is receiving. The same goes for anti-homosexual NGOs many of which are being promoted by churches in the United States. These American churches have since 2007, sent over $54 million promoting anti-gay campaigns in Africa. Globally, they spent over $280 million. The American Fellowship Foundation alone in ten years from 2008, spent over $20 million on Uganda.
On March 8, 2022, the United States government announced a $2.6 billion 2023 budget for foreign aid to promote gender equality and equity. A lot of this will go to promoting homosexuality which is lumped with checking discrimination among girls and indigenous women. Since 2012, the US government has spent $41 million promoting gay rights.
The question is: if the West is interested in Africa’s development, why impose economic sanctions because the continent refuses to be dictated to on sexual preferences?
Africa is being turned into a battle ground. No lessons appear to have been learnt in the split of the Anglican Church when Canterbury tried to impose the homosexual culture. In fact, it was the Nigeria Church that led the revolt.
What this type of diplomacy has resulted in, is the mobilisation of other citizens against gays. This has led to serious antagonism against our homosexual brothers and sisters. This backlash is the cause of the rising tide against homosexuals and the spate of draconian laws against them.
The approach of some of the Western countries offend the sensibilities of many African peoples. They need to understand that the challenge in Africa is not the sexual orientation of peoples but the struggle for existential survival.
Such countries need to realise that their ways are not our ways; our people are not their people, our culture is not their culture and our future is not their future. So they need to treat other people with respect.
It is almost impossible, and in any case, not advisable for homosexuals to have their own distinct communities in Africa. A change of perception and approach will lead to mutual existence by all.