Much ado about homosexuality

THE current brouhaha about homosexuality as documented by Luke Onyekakeyah in The Guardian of Tuesday, March 17, 2009 makes provocative reading, especially as the National Assembly is reportedly being pressurised to drop a Bill prohibiting same sex marriage by homosexuals in Nigeria, under the guise of fundamental human rights. Hundreds of gays and lesbians were said to have stormed the National Assembly on Wednesday, March 11, 2009, apparently under foreign influence, to protest against the consideration of the Bill.

The protesters were certainly acting within their constitutional rights to express themselves on any issue under the sun, from the sublime to the ridiculous, as long as this does not constitute a threat to public order and security. What should bother all right-thinking Nigerians is that our dear National Assembly is being coerced into wasting valuable time on frivolous matters, in the face of the mounting social, economic and political problems which deserve urgent legislative attention.

Homosexuality, the perverted mutual attraction by people of the same sex, is only one of the different human aberrations as far as the sexual habit is concerned. Anything that detracts from the natural order of heterosexuality, by whatever name it is called, is clearly an aberration, which demands urgent psychological attention. Apart from homosexuality, there is asexuality (more commonly known as masturbation), bisexuality (equal sexual attraction to both men and women or the presence of both male and female organs in one person known as a hermaphrodite), cross-sexuality (sexual activity between man and animal, for instance, between a woman and a male dog), and other forms of sexual perversion.

Even in heterosexuality, there are social and cultural aberrations frowned upon by the community, such as incest, fornication, adultery, prostitution and rape, the last two being offences already covered by legislation. The fact of the matter is that, apart from prostitution and rape, any two consenting adults are free to go into any form of sexual relationship, and face the resultant consequences. The law against violent assault is there to protect anyone from being sexually abused by a homosexual. The right of the individual to remain celibate or practice any type of sexual habit, without let or hindrance, must be recognized as an entirely private affair, which does not deserve official attention.

If two persons of the same sex choose to rent a flat and move in under whatever personal arrangement, it should not be anybody’s business to know what type of sexual life they are leading within it, as long as no crime is being committed, and no law of the land is being breached. However, such abnormal persons have no business applying for a marriage licence, any more than a woman, for example, cannot officially ask to be married to a dog. There should be no social or legal provisions for such frivolities. Nevertheless, such persons should suffer no discrimination whatsoever in terms of appointments and other social rights since their sexual habits are nobody’s concern, and do not constitute part of their official records.

Therefore, it beats me hollow to read of confessed gays and lesbians being denied jobs, promotion and other personal rights solely on the basis of their proclaimed sexual habits which have nothing to do with their performance at work or the fulfillment of other social obligations. A gay or lesbian worker can be as effective as any heterosexual in the performance of their duties. After all, if this anomaly were kept as a carefully guarded personal secret that it is supposed to be, nobody else, other than the consenting sexual partners, need know about it, since sexual act is normally carried out behind closed doors.

The only institutions expected to express concern about people’s sexual life-style are the religious and health institutions, which must constantly remind everyone involved about the negative spiritual and health consequences of perverted sexual activities, and leave the individuals to their consciences. So, why this much ado about homosexuality? Should adulterers or fornicators also seek legal endorsement of their heterosexual aberration? After all, what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Any sexual deviant who engages in an unnatural sexual activity and proudly goes ahead to boast about it publicly is a veritably sick person who deserves sympathy and urgent psychological attention, instead of public condemnation or legislative attention. It is clearly a medical condition, which requires the combined efforts of specialist doctors and spiritual counsellors. This is certainly no business of legislators, except in so far as they are expected to make laws for the general physical and mental well-being of the whole community. In the entire hierarchy of creation, it is only human beings, the supposedly higher creatures, who engage in homosexuality and attempt to make a virtue of it. A cock will never mount another cock; neither will a male dog or goat climb another of its kind.

Heterosexuality, the mutual attraction of creatures of opposite sexes, is a deliberate natural design to perpetuate creation through procreation. God, in His infinite wisdom, created Eve, a woman, to assist Adam, a man, in the Garden of Eden. He could have created a second Adam, and made them hermaphrodites like the earthworm, if that was His original design. Even if one does not believe in the biblical story of creation, the fact remains that there is sexual complementarity in the entire animal kingdom, whether or not it is organized into a formal marriage. Thus, homosexuality, which is a barren practice, strikes at the very root of creation and threatens the ultimate survival of humanity.

Such a dangerous ideology must not be promoted under the guise of the exercise of personal human freedom. The best attitude is to ignore this unwholesome practice altogether, and not draw any attention to it through legislative action either for or against. There is the Marriage Act already in place in our statute books, which does not make any provision whatsoever for two men or two women presenting themselves for marriage, whether in the court, church or mosque, or in the traditional setting. So, it is a time-wasting and superfluous act on the part of the National Assembly trying to legislate against same sex marriage which has no legal backing whatsoever. Even in our much cherished traditional marriage, can you imagine two respectable families coming together, with the usual fanfare, to join two men or two women from different families together? If the gays and lesbians truly believe in the rightness of their sexual life, let them organize a big traditional ‘wedding’ feast, distribute invitation cards to friends and colleagues, and wait to see how many of them would turn up. You can be sure that only their fellow homosexuals will honour such an absurd invitation. And when they eventually settle in their ‘matrimonial’ home, who plays the ‘husband’ and who plays the ‘wife’? Or, will they swap roles at regular intervals, to make for variety? The more you think of it, the more sickening and ridiculous the entire arrangement sounds. Homosexuality stinks to the highest heavens!

This is one imported culture that must be resisted with all the force we can muster. The Western World has provided acknowledged leadership in science and technology, but the African marital culture is infinitely superior to theirs, and we must not let them take it away from us. Rather, they should be made to recognize and adopt our cherished family values and the beauty of our extended family system which guarantees corporate and individual well-being. The giddy technological height attained by the so-called developed world has resulted in the disintegration of their traditional society and the breakdown of family life, as well as the collapse of social and religious institutions, which serve as ballasts to communal living.

They have ruined our politics, economy, and parts of our culture and tradition, in addition to disorienting our youths. They must not be allowed to ruin our family life and marital tradition, which is all we have left to distinguish us as a people. The proposed Bill to prohibit same sex marriage is a red herring which is merely diverting members of the National Assembly from more urgent national assignments. Same sex marriage has never been legalized at any point in our history, and it will remain illegal with or without this Bill. No court or religious house in the land can accommodate it. To pass this Bill will amount to giving tacit recognition to the existence of this aberrant group who will now embark on a fresh fight to repeal the Law, whereas there will be nothing to repeal in future if the Bill is not passed, in the first instance. The sponsors of the Bill, who certainly mean well for the society, should take note of this vital point and withdraw it immediately.

Dr. Umukoro teaches at the University of Ibadan