Is Homosexuality Un-African? Pt. 1 [The Traditional Arguments]
We live in a world whose walls are coming down. Neighbors have different beliefs, are born of different tribes, some more educated, some less. Through copper, satellites and fiber optic cables, we are connected, person to person across the globe and as we are spread wider, we are continually forced to deal with one another as humans or as other. As our lives become more and more entwined we must acces not only our own beliefs but how we expect those beliefs to impact other people’s live, if at all. One such area where personal beliefs have become the driving force behind national policy and then legislation is sexual orientation. Uganda has come under international scrutiny for its heavily anti-homosexual legislation that in some instances calls for the death of “multiple acts of homosexuality.” On the other side of the spectrum is South Africa, a nation that has extended fundamental rights to its LGBTQIA community through its legislation. Now, the world waits to see where other nations will fall in this debate.
Last year a number of leaders, activists, and religious leaders debated the meaning of “being African.” The key issue was what part, if any, one’s sexual orientation plays in that identity.
To frame our debate, I will tease out some of the more prominent arguments from three perspectives showcased in said debate. I acknowledge that there are other arguments, other perspectives and nuances I will not capture. That is why you should feel free to bring up those points in the comments to enliven our conversation.
With that preamble, we begin with the traditional views on homosexuality.