24 February 2024

tndNews

North's First

We might be promoting homosexuality unknowingly

There might be a million reasons why Africa is a difficult place for the LGBTQ+ community but colonial laws, religious morality, and the idea that homosexuality is imported by the West stands out as the most influential, scholars say. 
uganda

Wawah Onapa. Courtesy/file photo.

Last Updated on: 21st February 2023, 12:35 pm

In 2019, the government of Zambia sentenced two men to 15 years imprisonment and subsequently, the Uganda government detained several LGBTQ+ activists in November of the same year.

After the adoption of the Napoleonic Penal Code in the 19th century, most Latin American nations decriminalized homosexuality. Indeed, the evidence from other developing worlds is downright disheartening; Across Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia where homosexuality remains a crime, In some cases punishable by death.

Local leaders have been quick to denounce the West’s association between gay rights and human rights as “fictitious” by contending that the 1948 universal declaration of Human Rights does not make any reference to the issue of sexual orientation. 

Hence, they argue that in promoting gay rights as human rights, the West is actually “inventing” a new human norm. Citing this argument, Russia, China, the Vatican and virtually the entire Muslim world opposed the UN’s 2011 gay rights declaration.

This trend has never stopped. Recently, in January 2023, the government of Uganda banned several NGOs suspected to be vehement supporters of homosexuality, a move that was cherished by many, especially the parents and well-wishers but by that gesture, some of us saw it as it had come at a late timing. It was supposed to be done as earlier as possible.

In recent media overflow especially social media forums, we have had several videos going viral of students, teachers and pupils in different learning institutions involving themselves in nasty behaviours of homosexuality. My immediate questions were that ‘who is sharing these videos and for what benefit?’ ‘Are they for the good of our children or we are aiding the spread of their targeted message to their anticipated recipients? The government responded by summoning a few culprits (schools) for explanations.

What ought to have been done instead would be: the government gurus should have come out clear on procedures of making the negative impact of publicity on LGBTQ+ as swift as possible such as swiftly communicating their holding statement as they have tried in all existing laws (though still wanting), own the issue and disclose all the essential facts to avoid repetitive errors that we might have done unknowingly to as why the vice spread to this stature.

The government had got to start by understanding the exact magnitude of the problem at hand to handle it with the strength it deserves, and ensure that the external statements mirror the internal communications on assumptions; some of this penetration might be due to an invisible hand in the system.

We shouldn’t execute a strategy without thinking it through for it might make us receive a bloody nose without tangible results, we need to designate a crisis management team that should have responded swiftly and quickly to avoid spreading.

And lastly, we should plan the ‘four Rs’ of emergency communication i.e; regret (that this happened), responsibility (not for the issue but for doing the right thing), reform (to ensure that the problem won’t come again) and restitution (if appropriate, detail how we will help those impacted by the problem).

There might be a million reasons why Africa is a difficult place for the LGBTQ+ community but colonial laws, religious morality, and the idea that homosexuality is imported by the West stands out as the most influential, scholars say. 

The weak implementations of the law generally in Africa remain a myth. For example, the anti-sodomy law has never seen the light of day in the Gambia since the change of government in 2017.

A seasoned columnist, Hillary Beinomugisha once said that if you want to sell your product, tag an eye and attention lines of words and phewww the product is gone. For example, if you want to sell off your land, just record a label that is ‘not for sale’ and tag your digits, before dawn, you will start registering people inquiring about the price and reasons for not selling and before you know, the land is sold expensively.

My line of reasoning tells me that our constant talking about this topic is creating curiosity in the toddler generation hence making them try to find out the exact meaning of homosexuality. 

Once these dimwits keep posting homosexual videos, we are always sharing them with different groups not knowing that we are serving the exact intentions of the senders, hence it is a plus to them. Remember, these people are aware that we have already placed phones in the hands of these toddlers.

With that, am pretty sure that we shall knife the ugly teeth of homosexuality that have become cancer and a bone in our throat.

The writer, Moses Wawah Onapa, is an educationist and a social commentator

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