There’s a news story making its way through the Ghanaian media about a medical doctor who had sex with a senior high school student and infected him with HIV. The major legal issue is that they had sex when the boy in question was 15 and therefore under the age of consent. Currently homosexuality is one of the most controversial and sensational topics that one will find discussed in the media and by the public and usually the LGBTIQ people involved are usually young, flashy and feminine gay men who are bold enough to come forward and speak their mind. This is the first time in a long time someone considered a ‘respectable’ member of society has been involved in such a story. Read the rest of this entry »
Category Archives: Politik
I remember thinking “thank God this is not us” when I would see car and suicide bombings in the news as a child. How the story has changed today! Besides a reputation for online fraud, Nigeria is now also known for religious unrest with associated massacres and bombings, the fear of which is so great that the Independence Day celebration was shifted from the open square to the apparently impenetrable fortress that is Aso Rock, the location of the Presidential Complex. Read the rest of this entry »
Recently, the President of Uganda was celebrated for choosing to back down over the proposed anti-gay law. However the jubilation was premature: he recently signed the infamous law into being. This law includes life imprisonment for some homosexual acts and prison sentences for people besides the couple who participate in same-sex marriages. Even worse: he apparently had overwhelming support from the country’s citizens who rejoice at a victory over western/unAfrican influences. True to Ugandan form, a local tabloid has come up with names of 200 gay men and women in Uganda although the paper’s online edition did not carry this story, according to CNN. . I am sad and disappointed. The hypocrisy of carrying a Bible/Qur’an yet opposing “western influences” seem to be lost on many Africans. I will admit that there is some high-handedness in the way some western aid organizations decide how aid money is spent (especially on projects that are not that big a priority) and in trade agreements that clearly do not favour the low and middle-income ones, homosexuality will never fall into that category. Rights are rights and seizing the rights of a minority when these rights do not in any way affect how the greater majority live their lives will never be the way forward. This is not even something that any African country should be told by anyone: this is something it should know. Where is the Ugandan Social Justice Department in all this? Incidentally their webpage is offline at the moment.
The political leaders of Côte d’Ivoire have refused to pursue any anti-gay legislature unlike their backward counterparts in many other African countries, stating that they have more important things on their agenda than what people do in their bedrooms. I am happy that there are still leaders in the West African sub-region who still have common sense and put some of their people’s needs first. Read the rest of this entry »
After passing through the House, the terrible Ugandan anti-gay bill was swiftly shut down by President Yoweri Museveni, his reasons detailed in a 9-page letter to the Speaker of the House. While there are many that say that this is another African president bowing to Western pressure, I would rather see it as a president who understands that there are these conditions called priorities which other presidents need to look at.
However his comments about homosexuality are worrisome as he referred to gay people as “abnormal” or “products of random breeding” in Western societies. So progressive may not be the right word really to describe him but I’m glad that at least the bill has been dropped and LGBT folk in Uganda can heave a huge sigh of relief for now. Read the rest of this story here on the BBC.
President Goodluck Jonathan signed the anti-same-sex marriage bill into law on the 7th of January. It was all very hush-hush unlike the fanfare that accompanied the bills various movements through the House of Senate. The bill bans all gay clubs and activist groups meaning that it has effectively shut down any dissenting voices. That such a bill will be passed in a country where it is already illegal to be gay seems ludicrous but there is a clichéd saying that truth is often stranger than fiction and sadly that seems to be the case here. Just as surprising was the amount of homophobia some young citizens released on Twitter. Although Nigerians spoke out against this new law, most were citizens living outside the country. As much as I know that it’s not everyone that feels that way and as much as I know that some gay people feel pressured to join the gay-bashing brigade online to maintain their “cover”, I can’t help with wonder if the anti-gay sentiment is stronger than I thought. If the people who are computer literate, have access to the web and its attendant wealth of information could still say such things in this day and age, then what about those who don’t have such tools and/or knowledge available to them? Gay men and women have been warned to stay of all dating sites and not meet any new people because it is expected that violence against LGBTs will rise fast. I wonder what will happen to the young gay boy or girl who is now discovering themselves in this climate.
Life just got harder.