Letters Readers’ views
A Gay Pride march. It has become a major annual fixture in many countries
‘Obama is right on gay rights’ I am in full support of the US government’s stand on the rights of gays and lesbians, as recently highlighted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. I am convinced that it is time for the movers and shakers of this world to come to the defence of this highly persecuted group of people whose only crime is to have a different sexual orientation.
It is indeed a shame that African leaders (both political and religious) are at the forefront of the so-called war against homosexuality, using our cultural and religious norms and values to justify their onslaught on gays and lesbians, to the extent of even inciting the rest of society against them.
It is also sad to hear some of our socalled African intellectuals, whom we expect to be more enlightened, joining the castigation of homosexuality as immoral and un-African, as if we Africans are a separate species of human beings who are immune to the ongoing changes in human behaviour, mainly brought about by increasing globalisation and social intercourse.
It is indeed time that we, as Africans, accepted that we were part and parcel of this ever-shrinking global village and as such, we must be accommodative of people’s different behavioural patterns without resorting to violence and intimidation against those who behave differently from us.
We just cannot afford to remain aloof from the rest of the world on the pretext of protecting our so-called norms and values, and expect to be treated with equality and respect. We are either part of a fastchanging world or remain isolated in our outdated cocoons and continue to trail the rest of the world in both social and economic development.
It is indeed incorrect to say that homosexuality is un-African, as it is a phenomenon which has existed in all societies since time immemorial, and as such it is wrong for anyone to attribute it to Western moral decadence.
The only reason why it is more pronounced in the West is because Western societies are more tolerant and accommodating. Just as we have seen in South Africa since the advent of their liberal constitution, if a more tolerant environment is created for them, Africans with such sexual tendencies will not hesitate to come out and manifest them in the open. We are just human beings like everyone else in the rest of the world. It is important for our conservative leaders to understand that human rights are universal and indivisible, and therefore, the rights of those with different sexual orientations should be respected and protected by all state and non-state actors.
Indeed it is high time that both the African Union and the United Nations came out strongly in support of a convention which makes it obligatory for all states to recognise and respect the rights of gays and lesbians to civic and social protection like everyone else, and those who violate such rights should be sanctioned.
emba A. Jawo Dakar, Senegal hank God, Africans are fighting back! I must say I am happy and delighted by the work you people are doing for Africa. Keep it up. I have been a fervent reader of this esteemed magazine since 2003. Each month I rush out to get my copy. I have been very enriched by your coverage of the things happening in and around Africa.
I first read about the British prime minister David Cameron’s “disappointment” with the Nigerian parliament voting against homosexuality on AITV (a private TV station in Nigeria), and that he was threatening to tie British aid to gay rights in Africa. Then I began wondering what these Westerners take us for. Why should they impose something on people who don’t want it?
Then our former foreign affairs minister, Andre Ayebe Ayisi, warned diplomatic missions which were trying to sponsor homosexual activities in Cameroon to stop immediately or they would be held responsible for any unrest it might cost.
Your editor puts David Cameron`s utterances down to “youthful exuberance” (“Beefs”, NA Dec), but I disagree. It’s a European and American decision to impose this kind of thing on other people and Cameron is just speaking on their behalf.
Thank God African leaders have been able to stand up against it. How long their resistance will last, only God knows. We, as the African people, need to beware of the devil within.
olland Yenshi Douala, Cameroon
6 | Februar y 2012 | New African Ethiopian Airlines has joined Star Alliance. Connecting Addis Ababa to more destinations worldwide. Now my business can compete long distance. I’ve earned it.
Ha i l e Gebresela s s i e, 4 t imes world champion athlete, holder of 27 world records and Star A l l i ance Gold Status.
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