Sunday, July 21, 2013

Questions Folks are Asking in the Wake of Obama's Recent Trip to Sub-Saharan Africa

A blog post with the title, "3 Ways In Which Homosexuality Is Kind Of Creepy," pretty much summarizes some of the arguments that many have made against homosexuality in the wake of Barrack Obama's recent trip to sub-Saharan Africa and his statement on the need to uphold the human rights of gays and lesbians. Below are my responses to a few of these arguments:

“But what I don’t get is how a man could possibly find another man sexually attractive. Honestly, that’s like the Six Million Dollar question I’ve had to grapple with all my life, and by that I mean since I discovered that girls were kind of nice to look at and to touch and to kiss and to…”

  • I’m not sure why you’re grappling with this particular question. It is a fact of life that some people feel same-sex attraction. I imagine it has always been that way. You may disagree with it, but I’m sure nobody’s expecting you to take responsibility for other people’s sexuality. You don’t have to agree with it or understand it to recognize that others will enjoy consensual sex with other adults as they choose. It seems to me that the issue here is failure to recognize your own individuality and others’ individuality. We are not all one person. Live and let live.

“This formed the background on the call by Hussein to African nations to decriminalize homosexuality, and grant gay people the same basic human rights accorded to non-gays. This has predictably opened a whole new can of worms, with many Africans telling him to restrict his gay loving agenda within the United States, of which he is the president.”

  • I think there’s a huge difference between asking people to decriminalize homosexuality between consenting adults and asking them to recognize gay marriage. The U.S. is not about to pressure anybody into recognizing gay marriage. If they tried to do that, they would open themselves up to outside pressure to recognize polygamy. I’m also willing to bet that, right now, most LGBT people on the African continent place a greater priority on assuring their physical safety than on walking down the aisle to exchange vows. Now, I am curious about where you stand on the fact that gays and lesbians are subjected to unprovoked violence and discrimination in our nation and other African nations on a daily basis. Because that is the real issue that Obama was addressing. Many African politicians and religious leaders conveniently avoid addressing the violence. And too many ordinary citizens allow them to do that.

“For example, I have no qualms about mob justice. In my book, if a thief is caught in the act, kill him dead. No apologies.”

  • So let me get this straight, you’re basically saying that if a poor, four-year-old kid who has not had anything to eat for days steals a tomato from a greengrocer’s, he should be stoned or burned to death? Also, what if somebody lied about catching somebody else in the act of stealing (something that happens pretty frequently in Nairobi)? How would you know who was lying? Do you honestly believe this is a progressive position?

“Now, when you have two men doing it with each other (please note that I shall not be referring to lesbian sex for aforementioned reasons), no little babies are expected due to the serious lack of a womb, ovaries and other baby making equipment necessary for a successful conception.”

  • Even if you acknowledge unfertile couples, you’re still arguing that they should not have sex because “it takes procreation out of the equation.” You’re also arguing against family planning, the use of condoms, and the very conservative idea that sex strengthens the emotional bond between a loving, married couple. The argument that all sexual behavior must have procreation as its ultimate goal is not reflective of reality.

  • Mind you, it is not desirable for every human to have children. We have limited resources in our respective communities and have already damaged the natural environment to accommodate the burgeoning human population (case in point, Mau Forest). There may, theoretically, still be room for more people on earth, but it won’t last forever. Very highly populated nations like China and Egypt are already grappling with that.

“Now, picture this: if everyone were to suddenly find their inner gay, how long do you think it would take for the human race to be extinct?”

  • I don’t think this is an effective argument against homosexuality. It’s parallel to arguing that some kids should not be allowed to have white collar aspirations because, if we were all white collar workers, nobody would be a farmer and we would all starve to death. Now please be honest, is Barrack Obama or anybody else really arguing that heterosexuality should completely be replaced by homosexuality?

“Please excuse my ignorance, but how exactly does this work? Doesn’t this make for some pretty messed up kids who have no concept of the distinction between male and female?”

  • The only way to find the answer is to look for it. Look for articles and videos about the subject. There are plenty online, some narrated by people who were raised by gay couples. And don’t just limit yourself to reading or watching people who share perspectives similar to yours.

  • By the way, you come across as very sheltered if you honestly believe the only legitimately recognized form of marriage globally is one woman + one man. There is such a thing as polygamy, which can take the form of one man and several women. And, in some parts of Asia, there are communities that encourage women to marry more than one man (all of them brothers to each other). According to your argument, all kids from such families are totally messed up and there's little hope for them.
This work is licensed to Rose Kahendi under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.  

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