Why has Gay or by wider ramification—the practice of Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) received a global outcry? Most of developing countries, especially, African States have vehemently opposed the practice. This is because the practice is not just alien to their setting, but also, they consider it repugnant to the sensibilities of their traditional and customary institutions.
But what constitute a major worry to the leadership, including Heads of State or Presidents of Gay opposing countries is what they consider to be the untiring efforts of Western countries to force the practice down the throat of many countries as possible. Of course, much stronger and self-dependent countries like Russia and China cannot be bullied or cajoled into accepting the practice.
So why are the under-dog countries in a battle to declare their non-compromising stance on the subject? The budgets of most of these countries are balanced by the loans granted them by the advanced countries. Therefore, the only means of forcing these countries to acquiesce to the Gay practice, which the West considers, as human rights issue, is to make it a condition before loans are granted to such developing economies.
Remember, the one most compelling reason that the West used to force many developing countries, including Africa’s to adopt democracy was the embedded state of upholding of human rights. They very much were aware of how one-party state and other military dictatorships were trampling upon the rights of individuals, organizations, communities, minorities etc.
Many Ghanaians are of the view that the country’s loan arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is being stalled because Ghana’s wavering position on LGBTQ. The crux of the LGBTQ practice is the bold decision by the West to make it a human rights issue. It’s the decision of the individual who decides to have sex the unnatural way, and so America, Germany, the United Kingdom and other Western allies think it’s an individual decision that ought to be respected.
Ironically, not many citizens of these countries subscribe to the practice. To the extent that even in America, the Republican Party is critical of homosexual practice while its main contender in American politics –the Democrat, seem all for the practice. Aside the fact that many Africans believe the practice is not only against their norms and values, some of them also believe it’s an effrontery to their religious beliefs.
The fight for; and mainly against LGBTQ will definitely continue in our parts of the world, because of the stated arguments. Indeed, as recent as the 70’s, the practice was vehemently and overwhelmingly opposed in the West or many developed countries. It was upheld somehow within the last decade, thus with the fight to institutionalizing it becoming somehow global, in the last five years.
However, the thrust of my article is not necessarily the peripheral issues, but who should be held liable in the LGBTQ conversation? Should it be the practice or the practitioner? These questions may seem quite ambiguous. Yes, indeed it is. But it’s only when we are able to demarcate between the two that we can find a common ground to discuss the subject dispassionately.
I am suggesting that until someone is caught in an act that is against the law, such a person is not deemed guilty until tried by a competent court of law. And so, if for instance, a country has a legislation that criminalizes LGBTQ, any such practitioner of the act can only be deemed guilty after a return of criminal verdict by the courts. We can’t just assume the person is guilty by his mere conjectures or pronouncements.
So, much as an armed robber caught in the act, has the right to law, it’s within same legal framework that the LGBTQ person should also be given the right of defence at the courts. We may take the law into our hands and harm of even kill people we suspect to have demonstrated ample traits of LGBTQ. What would we have done to that person, if in the end, he/she is pronounced innocent? We may have destroyed innocent souls.
But alas it may be too late. So as the most hardened criminal or others whose actions are a danger to society are covered by the law, the LGBTQ practitioner should equally be given every necessary right under the laws of a given country. If actions of the gay and lesbians are in conflict with laws of a country, the prescribed punishment should be given to that person who has broken the law. For now, it’s only proper that we co-exist with suspects; so far as their mere existence does not harm anyone. As we struggle to deal with the subject, we should take into cognizance how to distinguish between the practice and the practitioner.
And even in the case of the practitioner, it’s only after he or she has behaved in a manner that flouts the laws of a country. None should take the law into their hands and beat, maim or lynch suspected gays or even the actual members of the LGBTQ community. Let the laws prescribe the right punishments and not people chasing out individuals because of the clouded suspicion that one is a pre-sumptuous LGBTQ practitioner.
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