The anti-gay law and the delusion of civil rights activists by Ayo Bankole Akintujoye
I believe most Nigerians opposing this bill are products of a confused generation
It came as a shock to me as I scrolled down my Twitter timeline and saw some comments posted by some supposed human rights activists on the same-sex marriage prohibition bill, aka anti-gay bill. I read with disgust the attempt by some self-acclaimed activists to justify homosexuality in our society, and the spurious arguments tendered in their opposition to the recently signed bill.
I believe most Nigerians opposing this bill are products of a confused generation, torn between their craving for western civilization and pseudo-freedom policies and their over-ambitious tendencies to be identified as anti-government and/or human right activists. I was disappointed to see the same people who wrote about the consequent degradation of the society during the American debate on the same-sex marriage, and those who went as far as labeling Barack Obama the Anti-Christ turn around to condemn President Goodluck Jonathan and the National House of Assembly for helping to prevent a social malady that will do nothing but further denigrate our already collapsed social ethos.
I read and listened in horror to youths who went out with missiles to condemn Legislators during the child-not-bride campaign, and argued vehemently that countries who allowed under-18 marriages were no justification for Nigeria legalizing, or even recognizing it. I remember we all argued that it was morally, yes MORALLY wrong, jeopardy to our children, and a socio-cultural disaster. Where then have we thrown all these arguments and moral uprightness? Or are we simply quick to condemn anything government, without taking critical look at the bigger picture and the evils therein? There is a slim margin or infact no margin at all between child marriages and homosexuality! Except those who speak out of ignorance or outright prejudice, we all know homosexuality is nothing but an extreme form of sexual perversion, and legalizing, or even encouraging it is equivalence to pronouncing a death sentence to centuries old social-cultural systems and values!
We speak about human rights and all that balderdash as justification for allowing homosexuality. How do you jump from infancy to adulthood on the ladder of social development? Have we even won the battle for basic freedoms? We still battle with basic issues like freedom of speech, equal access to healthcare, to education, rights to association, freedom of thought, amongst others, and we are here encouraging our government to jump the gun and proclaim homosexuality as a legal and acceptable sexual orientation? Have we come of age like the western nations that are legalizing it (even at that, in the midst of thousands of protests)? Are our social infrastructures even healthy enough to accommodate such perversion? Is it not bad enough that over 10million of our children are out of school? Should we begin to expose them to the dangers of same sex marriage? I remember as far back as my final year in secondary school, myself and one of my friends were approached during a swimming session in one of Lagos’s social clubs by homosexual foreigners, they wooed us to engage in sexual activity with them for $2,000 a week! Instinctively, we fled in horror. And we later learnt of how they destroy lives of young innocent children for money to satisfy their perverted sexual gratification. Are these the kinds of dangers we want to expose our unschooled children to?
How do we expect a largely illiterate, hungry, poverty-stricken, unemployed, sick and “doctorless” populace to cope with a homosexual social system? Have we gotten so western that we have even lost the very essence of our cultural identity? Must we be quick to align with western idea of “liberty” over everything? If truly you believe you are against the bill as a Nigerian, then you should sincerely ask yourself how you would feel if your son or daughter, at 16 or 17, or even 18, starts getting advances from same-sex individuals, and openly walks up to you to tell you he/she is getting married to a gay partner! Let us be realistic here, ours is a conservative straight society! The mere fact that gays are reluctant to come to the open, way before the bill came into the picture, is a testament to the level of disdain majority of Nigerians treat homosexuality! If majority of Nigerians insist homosexuality is forbidden, then why are we being overtly more western than the westerner?? Even in the so called almighty America, only about 17 US states recognizes and legalizes same-sex marriages and Unions (a clear minority), and it remains banned in about 27 other states, while the others are in a “complicated” status. And yet, that is a country that has attained supposedly advanced levels of human rights and social justice. The division and status of the same-sex issue in America and across the west shows that despite westernization and liberalization, majority people and governments still believe that homosexuality is an anomaly! Why then should we add this to our already sorry situation?
Let’s even bring the discussion home, if we remain silent, or lackadaisical, or approve of same-sex relationships, what then becomes of our ages-old institutions? What becomes of the girl’s brigade? The boys scout amongst others? How will parents go to sleep will their two eyes closed when their sons and daughters go to camps of these organizations? In those days, such camp experiences were golden opportunities for moral and leadership development in young ones, and there was no jostle for sexual attention and/or intercourse. But with homosexuality, camp participants can no longer build true friendships without suspicion/discomfort about sexual orientation, sleeping at night will become more difficult for fear of uncertainties about your bunk mate’s sexual orientation! How about the traditional marriage institution? What happens to child-rearing? Do we then start giving our children up for adoption to same sex homes? In Nigeria?? This will bring nothing but a complete collapse of the entire social order!
While it is true that there are more pressing issues facing us, I believe that the same-sex marriage is better curbed before it blows out of proportion as witnessed in other countries. Asides this, government stand on same-sex relationships is a global trend and the silence/inaction of the Nigerian government would have been irresponsible and most likely amounted to an approval of same-sex relationship/marriages. Just like every other law, there are victims and demerits, we know some components of the law are extreme, but this does not in any way undermine the fundamental essence of the bill as an effort by the government to protect the larger citizenry, especially our children, societal institutions and cultural legacy from imminent degradation.
We can go ahead and fight other societal issues having known that the same-sex issue is now behind us. God bless Nigeria!
Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.