Same-Sex Marriage and Homosexuality showdown: Nigeria’s Senate President, Ghana’s Minister insist they are “offensive” to Africans; UK Prime Minister threatens to withdraw aid, draws fire
USAfrica, November 1, 2011: Senator David Mark, President of the Senate of Africa’s largest democracy, a former soldier and key member of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has stated, in strong and firm words, his support for a legislative act to Prohibit Same Sex Marriage in Nigeria. He opposes homosexuality and same sex marriage: “It is offensive. It is repugnant. I will preach against it and we must stand up to reject same sex marriages, in Nigeria.”
For him, the lifestyle of homosexuality is an affront to all the religions in the country and anywhere else, emphasizing that: “My faith as a Christian abhors it. It is incomprehensible to contemplate on same sex marriage. I cannot understand it. I cannot be a party to it…. I do not think any religion supports this. I don’t know where this whole idea of same sex marriage comes from…. There are enough men and women to marry each other.”
Mark, from Nigeria’s middle belt state of Benue, also takes the position that “The whole idea is the importation of foreign culture but this one would be a freedom too many. We cannot allow our tradition and value system eroded…. It is offensive to our culture and tradition.”
He made his remarks at the public hearing on October 31, 2011 in Abuja by Nigeria’s Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters.
On the other hand, Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron is set on a collision course with Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Malawi, Zimbabwe and many African countries as he has told the BBC that Britain will not give financial support/aid to African countries who oppose homosexual rights, stating that “British aid should have more strings attached.”
Cameron’s position has drawn the strong response of Uganda’s presidential adviser John Nagenda, charging him of exhibiting an “ex-colonial mentality.” Nagenda, one of President Yoweri Museveni’s confidantes told the BBC that”Uganda is, if you remember, a sovereign state and we are tired of being given these lectures by people…. If they (Britain and others) must take their money, so be it.” He warned that Cameron’s attitude reflecting “this kind of ex-colonial mentality of saying: ‘You do this or I withdraw my aid’ will definitely make people extremely uncomfortable with being treated like children.”
One of the backers of the same sex prohibition ban in Nigeria told USAfricaonline.com that “Britain’s Prime Minister Cameron still think we are under his colonial rule. Let him keep his financial aid and same sex agenda. Nonsense. He wants to run our country for us?”– she queried.
Cameron added that his government will financially support homosexual-gay groups: “we are prepared to put some money behind what we believe.”
Some African leaders consider that approach as “provocative.” From Malawi, on Tuesday November 1, 2011, the Malawi Christian Council chairperson Bishop Dr. Joseph Bvumbwe, Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) chairperson Reverend Dr. Lazarus Chakwera and the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) secretary Father George Buleya described the British Prime Minister’s statements as “unfortunate, unacceptable and provocative.'”
Meanwhile, Ghana’s Trade and Industry Minister, Ms. Hannah Tetteh, only a few hours ago, argued that same sex relationships and homosexuality are unacceptable and against African culture; warning that no amount of financial denials and threats from Cameron and Britain would make Ghana bow to same sex marriage. She said that “Every society has its norms and what it considers to be acceptable…. In the Western world it is acceptable to have gay relationships and even move on to the next level to gay marriages; in our society it is unacceptable.'”
A Nigerian gay activist, John Adeniyi, who addressed the committee raised issues against the bill to prohibit same sex marriage will undermine the access of homosexuals to quality medical care. He said they suffered from perceptions of some doctors who see their body parts as strange. He narrated “a case where someone went to a hospital and instead of the doctor to treat him as a professional, he started shouting: make una (folks) come help me see o, I never see this kind of thing before….”
USAfrica is also aware that many U.S-based African churches have expressed their opposition while same sex activists of African descent in the U.S make their own case. U.S President Barack Obama, born to a Kenyan father and an American mother, says he’s a supporter for greater marriage equality for gays and the Obama administration argues that the 1996 American law barring federal recognition of same-sex marriages is unconstitutional.
USAfrica news index indicate that the debates on this controversial issue of homosexuality and same sex marriage will remain contentious among Nigerians and other Africans as most of the continent’s political, social and religious leaders forcefully challenge and denounce the demands of the relatively small gay rights groups for the accepting their lifestyle as normal and acceptable.
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