Tuesday, 3 March 2009

It is Illegal to be Left-Handed

This is a crude attempt to re-post this. For those who are also prone to absent mindedness, you'll understand when I try to explain that I really don't know how I deleted my previous post on this topic. This is an attempt to recount the passion that surged through me when I first heard the news that the House of Representatives in Nigeria had passed the Same Gender Prohibition Bill.

With all the challenges that Nigeria faces, one would think the members of the legislature would be more concerned to see that their valuable time is spent on debating issues that really matter, and on making laws that are geared towards improving the quality of life for Nigerians. What we have instead is our legislators debating homosexuality, and in the process displaying a level of ignorance about it that is alarming. As far as I am aware, there has been no agitation in Nigeria by same gender loving people for the right to marry, so one wonders from where the need for such a law arose.

The constitution of Nigeria is a secular constitution. What this implies is that laws are to be passed with regard to issues such as human rights and with no reference to religion whatsoever. However, in arguing for the bill, we are told that, "Hon. Tahir, for instance, noted that the act depicts moral decadence in any given society and a digress from God’s purpose of creating marriage institution, stressing that such act as stated in both Islam and Christian religions remain ungodly act."

My view on this is that Hon. Tahir has crossed the line when he makes reference to his religious faith, which as I see it, should always be a private matter between the individual and his god, and should have no place in a legislative assembly where laws are passed, laws which affect the lives of the general population, including those whose religious beliefs might be different, or those who may have no religious beliefs at all.

In the report that I have seen about the debate in the House on the subject, another member (Hon. Igo Aguma) is said to have argued that “it is against my faith to have same sex marriage. It is against our penal code to even engage in activities that are as quarrelsome as this between man and man, as well as women and women. It is time for us at this point in time to think back and look at the scourge of HIV/AIDS. The greatest means of transmitting this disease is through the act of ‘sodomy’. Young children are already victims of been lured into this cruel and unimaginable act. It is an act of perversion.”
Again, this person has made it clear that his support for the Bill is predicated upon his faith. And while I have no grouse with people holding fast to their faith, I do have an objection to the matter of faith being put forward in the elected House of Representatives of a secular state, as the basis upon which laws should be passed. Also, Hon. Aguma has clearly demonstrated that his understanding of HIV transmission is limited, since apparently his belief is that the majority of those infected with the virus have become infected through anal sexual intercourse. One cannot but feel sad for all the hapless HIV infected people in Nigeria whose lives are placed in the hands of such people as Hon. Aguma.

Homosexuality is a small part of nature that has been present with mankind throughout history. Its occurrence even in the animal kingdom, is proof that its origins are in nature. The Same Gender Prohibition Bill when passed into law will not cause the sexual orientation of same gender loving Nigerians to be changed, neither will it cause the discontinuance of already existing same-sex relationships. Being gay is akin to being left-handed; being different from the majority, but in this case with regard to one's sexuality. It is the nature of a gay person to be gay, and you cannot legislate against nature. We humans are arrogant, and I will not doubt that members of the House of Representatives may believe that their power supersedes Mother Nature. What is required is education on the subject of homosexuality, which is based on modern secular rationality and science, rather than the religious indoctrination that holds sway in Nigeria today. Ojo Madueke our Foreign Affairs Minister embarrassed us all and demonstrated to the whole world how backward our leaders are, when he announced to a United Nations gathering in Geneva last month that there are no homosexual people in Nigeria. If that is the case, why then would the House of Representatives deem it necessary to pass a bill banning same sex marriage?


Anonymous said...

Woops Anengiyefa has now caught on with the fire of bloging! Good. Way to go.

Absolute bollocks, if you ask me how the minister thinks.

What that Nigerian Minister and the rest of society should note is that the new age movement has driven even the archetypes of religious indoctrination like bishops, to seriously reflect on the contextual conjectures of those scripture notes in the bible. If it was that empirical, the current schism in Anglican communion would hardly arise.

Hmmmmm....his passion lies somewhere in Africa!

Amooti, Uganda

Anonymous said...

Anengiyefa, many thanks for the repost (and thanks for spelling my internet name correctly, I can't say I noticed the misspelling before).

Nigeria has been plagued by leaders and representatives that who don't quite understand the mechanics of government. As you have pointed out the idea of a secular state was put to one side in the head-long rush to pass this vicious and nasty bill. It comes as no surprise whatsoever, that this was passed. After all it's relatively easy to scapegoat that section of society, who everyone else will have no qualms in hating and persecuting.

As you already know, I agree with you entirely on this.

Anengiyefa said...

@Amooti, ..."somewhere in Africa"....is meant to keep you guessing. I was sure you would have something to say about it. Anyway, thanks for dropping by. :)

Tamaku said...

A subject I care deeply about. I wonder what the Nigerian activists' position is on these rights in relation to UDHR's articles 7 and 12?

Anengiyefa said...

Article 7 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

"All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination."

Article 12:

"No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks."

Free Surf said...

I just wish some investigative journalist would go undercover and out all the gay assholes in the senate who are peddling this bill so as to hide their own homosexuality. I heard they are actually the ones sponsoring the bill and I guess it's all a way of keeping the gays silenced so no attention is drawn to them as they go about living their double lives.