Politics, Religion and Sexuality have been the three subjects I always try to stay away from. People have diverse opinions built from strong socialization on these subjects and I have come to respect what everyone’s stance is. It is not easy for people to change their views on these subjects.
It is quite interesting all three subjects have found their way into mainstream Ghanaian media, and on social media, and everyone is out with what they think; support, hate and half-backed knowledge [solely backed by culture, ignorance and religion] depending on the people you follow.
Most people who use religion as their basis for any human right argument lack the knowledge to reason and the ability to arrive at any logical conclusion for themselves and humanity, and therefore fall back on a set of documented historical occurrences to pretend to solve issues. “The bible said” “My religion” [just shut up!]
Last Sunday, in church, during a sermon, I leaned close to my friend and whispered to him how the Bible and entire Christianity is built on stoic patriarchy. It was left to be discussed later, because I had to let the sermon marinate. I promised to remind myself to make time to read the Bible more to confirm or deny what I thought of it.
Over the weeks, before the President of Ghana’s impeccable response on homosexuality in Ghana which was lined with his knowledge on Human rights and his empathy on how it felt to be a part of the minority in every society, the news was full of gender based violence and rape.
Flipping through the local newspapers, tuning the radio and changing local television channels, all we see are cases of abuse and rape, to the extent of the gods declaring a rapist innocent [the gods must be cray]. And for a country that is hyper religious and has churches on almost every street, we waited for the Christian Council to come through and make a statement with their influence. We waited in futile for them to remind rapists and abusers of a place designed for eternal damnation. We waited for them to come through the mainstream media to tell us all the things God hates and the Bible detests, but here we are. Through it all, they were busily holding services and praying to help their congregation obtain visas to countries where the very thing they swear God detests is legal – homosexuality. It is evident the only time the Christian Council is really passionate about anything is when it is about harvest for the church and homosexuality and maybe, imprudent politics. Anything but these are left to God. All they represent are entitled statements made from a group of people who think their beliefs should be everyone else’s lifestyle. While they try to shove their opinion on a multi-religious country, it will be right they sit their executives down and make them understand that, their beliefs do not reflect the beliefs of the country.
There were a lot of headlines in the main media on the subject and, most of them that caught my attention where from a certain lawyer who made his intention clear [which is laudable]. I’ll share two of his quotes from the news.
“DON’T ELEVATE A DISORDER TO A RIGHT”
The above statement was in the news from this Lawyer. Whose skin will be a threat to his life if not for change. This is a typical example of how far people will go to cut their nose to spite their face. He is so burning with hatred, he couldn’t catch a breath to choose his words. Gays as well as albinos are a part of the minority in our society and the word disorder perfectly describes the latter [borrowing his word]. Being a part of a group of people who still aren’t entirely safe and are discriminated in certain communities right here in Ghana, your influence should be used for inclusion, not a breeding ground for hatred. This issue is one of a human right but some chose to play it the cultural way, which I am sure this learned man went for. Maybe he’s right. Maybe we should revisit the very core of Ghanaian culture and what it thinks about albinism if we so want to make this subject a cultural thing. Whatever it is, what is important for you is absolute ownership of your culture.
“IF YOU SAY HAVING ANAL SEX IS A HUMAN RIGHT, THEN I CAN SLEEP WITH MY MOTHER AND THAT’S ALSO HUMAN RIGHT”
That is another statement from this Lawyer, and as it stands, we really do not know who is stopping this man from sleeping with his mother. This seems to be more of his personal family problem than a human right interest. Every statement from him just strips a layer of hatred if not misinformed prejudice and the deeper we go, we realize such a person will set his house on fire to keep himself warm. He reduced being gay to just a sexual act and tried equating it to indecency. It is troubling there are still people like him who do not think homosexuals just as heterosexuals have the psychological, emotional and romantic desire. I find it hilarious when people equate the right of gay men to pedophilia or rape.
You’d probably disagree that this is a human right issue and that’s fine. Being blinded by hatred with no explanations won’t let you see through the darkness. The issue with Human Right Advocacy is that, you’re either for it or you are downright not. You cannot advocate rights for a certain group of people and support the infringement against another.
Let’s not pretend this isn’t an issue. I don’t want to make my advocacy about my personal preferences because either way, the truth can’t be changed. Everyone has a voice, and even cheaper, a platform now and this what I choose to do with mine. Your silence does not mean you stand in between. You have actively chosen to remain on the side of the oppressors and you will be on the wrong side of history. Your silence won’t save you, oppressors has a huge appetite and they will come for you once they win this, and move on to the next minority. Let’s not hold on, hold our tongues as we wait for the liberation of a group of people!
Ghana has been at the confluence of cultures, and homosexuality isn’t one of those.
Is anyone listening? ‘Well, Ghana we dey!