Before independence, an African woman, because of her perceived infantile behavior, was put in the same category with children. Because you and I were not born yet, we shall believe Margret Ogola’s narrative in her novel The River and the Source. There were days when African women were not allowed to hold leadership positions. They were thought childlike and unintelligent. In fact, it was a taboo for a woman to attend a council of elders meeting. She was a symbol of trouble, impurity and curse. She was only to bear children and to cook. Nothing more. But that has since changed. Someone had to drum sense into the heads of Africans, through their unkempt, smelly rastas.
Apart from women, Jesus was also mistreated by Africans. Christianity was foreign and unacceptable. It was malicious and evil. A Luo was happy with his wet and wild god (Lake Victoria). A Kikuyu was much at home with his Mount Kenya – bigger than man and tall enough to watch all the lands. This is what we are told by Ngugi wa Thiong’o in The River Betweenand Chinua Achebe in No Longer At Ease. These two novels give a snippet of the drama that was witnessed when God was replacing god.
The homosexuals are now going through the same suffering women and God were subjected to – alien and taboous.
In the wake of the US Supreme Court decision that legalized gay marriages, sharp reactions emanated from various quotas in Kenya. Lawyers, philosophers, men of religion and politicians announced their stances on the matter in both print and social media. From the national discussions, it appeared a large segment of the country’s populace is not at peace with the practice.
Article 45(2) of the constitution of Kenya states that every adult has the right to marry a person of the opposite sex, based on the free consent of the parties. It has been argued by various scholars that this provision, based on its wording and tone, does not outlaw same sex marriage. However, when read together with section 3(1) of the Marriage Act where marriage is defined as a voluntary union between a man and a woman, there is no gainsaying that homosexuality is frowned upon by the laws of Kenya. But law does not see what we do in our private spaces.
Semantics and law aside, the moot subject of gay marriage has attracted social commentators as well. Traditionalists consider it unnatural and foreign. Much as it remains true that the concept is alien to the African social norms, it should not be forgotten that the world is no longer Africa, Europe or America but a global nation united, driven and shaped by technology. What was once African is today Asian and vice versa. The world has seen so many inter-racial marriages, trade and political associations that cultural exchanges cannot be prevented.
Religious leaders are of the opinion that homosexuality offends the laws of God as captured in their prayer books. I am one of the believers who subscribe to the biblical teaching that all decisions affecting man must be grounded in the scripture, but the Bible must be interpreted within the context of the changing cultural terrains. One may, for example, pick an issue with the creation story. It is narrated in the book of Genesis that God created only Adam and Eve – a man and a woman. But today, the world is also occupied by hermaphrodites (persons possessing both male and female reproductive organs). So who the hell created them? Are they not children of God? Theologists argue that such people exist because the world God originally intended did not materialize following the sinful act in the Garden of Eden. Be that as it may, why can’t we put up with all children of God born with ‘deformities’?
I have no idea what God feels when two men pull each for a kiss. Your guess is as good as mine: He is probably hurt. But like He did in Sodom and Gomorah, let’s give Him space to act. We should not be the ones killing gay people. We should not look at them and say, ‘look, that’s a rotten body’ when perhaps yours is more rotten − tribal and corrupt.
I am shocked Africa is talking about gay rights at a time when the rest of the world has moved to the third gender debate. Sounds legalese? The third gender discourse seeks to find ways of recognizing and protecting the transgender. You remember Andrew Mbugua who changed his/her name to Audrey, arguing she had more female than male hormones. What do we do with such a case? Spat on her (sic)? Run away from her? Ask God to take her away before she rots the whole system? Mr. Christian, please.
I know the institution of heterosexual marriage has deep cultural, religious and moral roots. Our grandparents’ parents observed it strictly. I wish we could all do the same. I wish we could put a smile on the carcasses of their faces. But it’s not possible now. Things have changed. Somebody has become ‘stupid’. As peace loving members of the human race, we have no option but to love him in his ‘stupidity’.
Naturally, any male creature is attracted to the female creature of its kind. Dogs know where bitches are. Birds know pretty well how to pair. Even insects and the dirty pigs do it the natural way. Men too are notorious for lechery, sometimes hidden behind chivalry. In fact, there are men who pay for sex. Some impatiently lie in wait to pounce on married women. While some defy the laws to defile, rape and commit incest. So when a man grows to become sexually attracted to another man it means he has a SERIOUS INTERNAL problem that calls for our love and prayers, not condemnation. If anything, homosexuals will never convert to straightness, regardless of whether they are protected by law or cursed by the homophobic community.
Making good use of the alphabet