Homosexuality,Human Rights and Our Societal Dogma.

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On June 26, 2015, the United states of America became the twenty-first country to legalize same sex marriage. The court ruled that the denial of marriage license and recognition to same-sex couples violates the Due process and the Equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United states Constitution. As everyone would expect, this received a lot of critisms From Nigerians and Africans in general, most notably was Robert Mugabe. The 91yr old ‘’Power bank’’, who is known for his brutal crusades against homosexuality mocked America’s decision to legalise gay marriage across all 50 states by vowing to travel to the White House and proposing to Barack Obama.

Our collective opinions on homosexuals at the very least only raises a few questions for us ourselves to either answer (or ignore). Don’t these people have human rights? Don’t they also have a right to be protected? Is it fair for them to change their sexual orientation just to ‘’Fit into’’ society? Is it fair for them to be victimized and discriminated against because of their sexual orientation? Are their civil rights being violated?

Criticize these western countries all you want, but it takes nothing from the fact that they actually care for their citizens. Not just the ‘’majority’’ but for everybody. We see a modern society were human rights is almost at par with morality. The question these days is not whether it is right or wrong, but are people’s rights being violated or respected? Even animal rights are protected. It’s not a question of if they understand fair treatment but do they feel pain? This would seem outrageous to the average Calabar man to understand that even his dog has rights.

Societal acceptance of non-heterosexual orientations such as homosexuality is lowest in Asian and African countries, and is highest in Europe, Australia, and the Americas. Western society has become increasingly accepting of homosexuality over the past few decades.While some people hold the view that homosexuality is unnatural, scientists believe that homosexuality is an example of a normal and natural variation in human sexuality, most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation, and there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation.

In Nigeria, Same sex marriage and non-heterosexual orientations is totally abhorred. Mostly on Religious and moral grounds. Human rights is not an issue here, morality is. Christians, Muslims and even the traditional religious institution abhors non-heterosexual orientations. For many religious people, morality and religion are the same or inseparable; for them either morality is part of religion or their religion is their morality. For others, especially for nonreligious people, morality and religion are distinct and separable. But we seem to forget that even religion can be relatively immoral or moral. For example, the Christians view some traditional festivals as immoral.

It is almost an automatic assumption that morality and religion are the same but, According to The Westminster Dictionary of Christian Ethics, religion and morality “are to be defined differently and have no definitional connections with each other’’. Conceptually and in principle, morality and a religious value system are two distinct kinds of value systems or action guides.  According to Wikipedia, Morality is the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good or right and those that are bad or wrong. Morality can be a body of standards or principles derived from a code of conduct from a particular philsosphy, religion or culture, or it can derive from a standard that a person believes should be universal.

Morality is not universal. Killing of twins was once moral in our society, Polygamy and bigamy are illegal in the America, in Nigeria polygamy is recognized in all northern sharia states, and federal law recognizes polygamous unions under customary law. In Nigeria, child marriage is a widespread practice in the northern part of the country yet totally immoral in America. So, while we criticize western cultures on moral grounds, we should realize that we are not all morally perfect. Let us not debase ourselves to the position where we choose which ”sin” to condone.

We live in a country almost perfectly divided on religious ties. And I fear that our united crusade against same sex marriage and homosexuality may not hold off for long. All that is needed for it to thrive in any society is a political backing, by getting public empathy and emotional support. The movie and music industry has done a great deal in this regard. As a matter of fact, Hollywood and the entertainment industry in general has prepared the world for this. Gay characters in movies are always projected in a very positive way, it is almost impossible not to love these characters. Examples are the gay character in the movie Glee, and Empire. Nobody imagines gays to be violent or lazy people, we only see them as people trying their possible best to fit into society. Ladies and gentlemen, we have all been ‘’programmed’’ to be sympathetic to the gay movement.

Currently, I have no qualms against anyone for being gay as long as (u don’t stare at my butt); and am sure a lot of people are in my position. So, do u really think a bunch of power hungry legislators can hold off this international movement that is gathering momentum every day? It all goes back to the basics, Family and the Educational system. Family values are dying fast in our society. Gone are those days when 16yr olds can’t watch a movie rated 18. Our Educational system is a Hugh joke. Parents are too busy to monitor their kids, schools are too crowded and poorly funded to do same. In a society where corruption is a norm how do you think it will stand against a vice that the world sees as both legal and moral. I don’t claim to be an expert on this, but I don’t totally believe anyone was born gay and from personal experience almost all the Homosexuals I have encountered or read about seem to be products of poor home backgrounds. Conclusively, let us bring up our kids the African way, Because it works!

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