Sunday, December 20, 2015

Are American Efforts on Gay Rights Backfiring in Africa?

While gay rights have made huge steps in the West, in Islamic countries and in Africa the situation remains abysmal.   In non-Islamic areas, American Christofascists have been busy exporting anti-gay animus and playing upon the ignorance of the local populations where those who seemingly know no accurate history are to stupid to grasps that anti-gay laws and discrimination were colonial imports from European powers, especially Great Britain.  Aiding them is the Roman Catholic Church which continues to vilify gays and inflict its 13th century mindset on sexuality on its flock, many of who are too poorly educated to realize that are being told lies and falsehoods.  As noted before, if one wants to see the poison spread literally across the globe by Christian missionaries, read "The Origins and Role of Same-Sex Relations in Human Societies" by James Neill.  It is a scholarly work with much research behind it and it truly underscores the ignorance and idiocy of those who claim homosexuality is a western import.  The New York Times as a lengthy piece on the sad state of affairs in Africa.  Here are excerpts:
After an anti-gay law went into effect last year, many gay Nigerians say they have been subjected to new levels of harassment, even violence.

They blame the law, the authorities and broad social intolerance for their troubles. But they also blame an unwavering supporter whose commitment to their cause has been unquestioned and overt across Africa: the United States government.

“The U.S. support is making matters worse,” said Mike, 24, a university student studying biology in Minna, a town in central Nigeria who asked that his full name not be used for safety reasons. “There’s more resistance now. It’s triggered people’s defense mechanism.”

Four years ago, the American government embarked on an ambitious campaign to expand civil rights for gay people overseas by marshaling its diplomats, directing its foreign aid and deploying President Obama to speak before hostile audiences.

America’s money and public diplomacy have opened conversations and opportunities in societies where the subject was taboo just a few years ago. But they have also made gay men and lesbians more visible — and more vulnerable to harassment and violence, people on both sides of the gay rights issue contend.

“The Nigerian law was blowback,” said Chidi Odinkalu, chairman of Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission and the senior legal officer for the Africa Program of the Open Society Justice Initiative, which supports gay rights on the continent. “You now have situations of gay men being molested on the streets or taunted. That was all avoidable.”

Violence against gay Nigerians has increased significantly, according to the country’s National Human Rights Commission. Most are attacked in the open by groups of men, some of whom call themselves “cleansers,” rights groups say.

But victims often do not report attacks for fear of being outed. Even men infected with H.I.V. are often reluctant to seek treatment at hospitals, fearing that the authorities will be called, said Stella Iwuagwu, executive director of the Center for the Right to Health, an H.I.V. patient and rights group based in Lagos.

The United States’ role comes as longstanding foes in its culture wars continue to move their fight to Africa. Many private supporters of equal rights for gay people in the United States, after landmark successes at home, are increasing their funding of gay causes abroad, especially in Africa.

American conservative and Christian groups have also turned to Africa, where the vast majority of people still share their opposition to same-sex relations and marriage.

Gay Africans are becoming increasingly caught in the American culture battles being waged in Africa, said the Rev. Kapya Kaoma, an Anglican priest from Zambia who is a researcher at the Massachusetts-based Political Research Associates.

“When two elephants fight, the grass will suffer,” said Mr. Kaoma, who has documented the ties between American evangelicals and the anti-gay movement in Africa. “This is what’s happening in Africa. African L.G.B.T. persons are just collateral damage to U.S. politics on both ends.”

[T]ying developmental assistance to gay rights has fueled anger across the continent. After Uganda’s president signed a tough anti-gay law last year, for example, the Obama administration announced that some aid money for the Ugandan police and health agencies would be cut off or redirected.

“This is an abuse of power, and that’s why many are turning around and saying, ‘Keep your money,’ ” said Father George Ehusani, former secretary general of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, adding that Nigerian Catholic charities had stopped applying for American government grants that promote gay rights.
The real enemy of LGBT equality is fundamentalist religion of all stripes which, in my view, is a cancer that needs to be eradicated whether it goes under the banner of Catholicism, Evangelical Christianity, or Islam.  No matter the name employed, it is a true force for evil.

No comments: