Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Gay Epidemic


Interesting opinion article by Jonathan Zimmerman: 

An African epidemic of homophobia: Customs and traditions banning gay love are relatively recent

On Thursday, my students and I visited a high school here in Ghana. When the headmistress told us that her students were "losing their culture" and "becoming too Western," we asked for an example. "Homosexuality," she said. "To us, it is an abomination. It comes from elsewhere."

That morning, coincidentally, President Obama was addressing the same issue at a news conference in Senegal. Asked about the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decisions in support of gay marriage, Obama acknowledged that Africans have "different customs" and "different traditions" about homosexuality. But he went on to insist that gays should have equal rights under the law, no matter where they live.

Bloggers and news commentators across Africa reacted angrily to Obama's remarks, insisting that homosexuality and gay rights are Western imports. But they're wrong. And if you think otherwise, I've got two words for you: Nelson Mandela...

A really well written piece, ending on the poignant point:

But nobody is "forcing" homosexuality on Africa, where it has existed for much longer than many Africans want to admit. Customs and traditions banning gay love are more recent. And as Mandela understood, they can be changed. Let's hope that other Africans find the courage to follow his example.

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