Homosexuality: An Issue of misplaced priorities
I am straight. Not like I would tell you if I was homosexual but still, I’ll assume that you’ll take my word for it.
Just as a reminder, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines homosexuality as a sexual attraction or the tendency to direct sexual desire toward another of the same sex. Despite its existence from years immemorial, the last 15 to 20 years has seen homosexuality become an important topic of discussion. About 8 days ago, Botswana joined the very short list of African countries to decriminalize consensual same sex relations, scraping colonial-era homosexuality laws and as usual, people complained but I have always wondered why. Of course various countries have their reasons for the strong opposition they put up to homosexuality and homosexuals but how formidable are those reasons? While some countries have prison sentence of varying number of years, some even have death penalties as repercussions. But to what end?
In Nigeria for instance, the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act of 2014 expressly prohibits a marriage contract or civil union between persons of same sex. In addition to this, it provides penalties for the ‘perpetrators’ of this crime and is even accommodating enough to mete out punishments to anyone who administers the solemnization of such marriages as well as witnesses of the glorious occasion with prison terms of up to 14 and 10 years respectively.
The crime here being just as basic as falling in love. Of course the principal reason that will be given is how it goes against our moral yardstick but I think it is important to note that this particular stick has been broken for a while now. This moral yardstick is just a compilation of rules that we have doggedly refused to change, or better still adjust, despite how it has constantly failed us. A country that has failed in all areas still dares to interfere with its citizens’ love life? I do not say that this moral yardstick does not have its importance but it just should be a little more accommodating.
In the world at large, I believe it is unfair to restrict a person’s freedom of association based on the moral compass of people. It is most hilarious that this moral compass, albeit broken, is deeply rooted in religious belief. But that births the question that how does it concern anyone how a person chooses to serve his God? While some religions, according to their holy books, do not support same-sex relations and in truth the followers of such religions should adhere to the doctrines but people should yet be allowed the freedom to serve God the way their heart lets them to.
Homosexuality is a case of misplaced priorities. A continent plagued by disasters, global warming and poverty, issues of racism and gender inequality clearly has more important issues than who a person decides to have sex with. The Sudan massacre that left dozens of kids sexually abused and/or killed is sure of greater importance. Homosexuals should enjoy as much benefits as heterosexuals. They should be allowed to love in every way to love, and of course have sex, with the person they want as long as they do not infringe on the rights of others. They should be subject to the same laws as heterosexuals, such as the punishment for rape, and should not be seen as different because of their sexual orientation. In fact, if we discriminate against persons because of their sexual person, it just speaks of how intolerable we are as humans.
Finally, I think everyone (Straight, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexal and Transgender), should be free to do what they want with their bodies. They should be free to love whomever they want, and express their love however they like as long as they do not violate the fundamental human rights of others. And since they do not violate anyone’s fundamental human right, why should anyone violate theirs?