Forget football, politics or even land issues. If ever there’s a subject that might get many especially an African on top of their voice, of late, bring in the GAY DEBATE. If you want a slap, go on and question those who assert that homosexuality is un-African.

Over the past hours I have passively watched a social media debate on this issue get out of control. Things got pretty messy; thank God shoes can’t be volleyed “cyberly” and computers that can shoot real bullets are yet to hit the shelf.

Comments were either calling upon people to mind their business; urging Africans to say NO; alleging a conspiracy from the west or the obvious: name calling, abusive language and the excessive use of two words, “rights” and “wrong”.

The word “rights” can be seen here in one of those comments that got me thinking: (no changes made to the comment)

“If we take this lesbian and gay thing as human rights, it is tantamount to accepting robbery, rape, defilement as human rights”

To this person, the “rights” of one group implied the justification of the wrongs outlined. “Do they?” I asked myself. A robber who breaks into my house does so without my consent. The person who rapes or defiles does so without the consent of the other party… “What is the relevance of my consent in the situation where two  men allege they are in love?”

As my head produced more questions, our friend came out with more bellicose statements attracting grammar Nazis (trust those chaps), he asserted that his comments were part of a “right” to opine.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “right” as: a) something to which one has a just claim <everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness>

b) an entitlement to something <what right do you have to tell us what to do?>

c) the practice of giving to others what is their due <activists who have fought all their lives for right>

If I am to consider all the three, the author of that statement perhaps has the right to say what he wants but does he have the entitlement to gauge what is right and wrong? “Who gauges how wrong or right something is?” “Who gives this judge that moral authority?” Many questions.

For the few years I have been alive especially through my time as a teenager, I realised life is often about objective questions like those above. A parent tells you to stay home because they feel you shouldn’t go to that party. But soon, that form of jurisdiction goes away; you perhaps find a house or even leave town. No longer a child. So if parents lose authority over children who grow into women and men, why do strangers assume they can have that reprimanding power to tell them what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’? My wondering self goes on to ask, “What makes us think we can have power over adults?” “What makes us think a law can even give us that?”

This year, investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas, converged the world’s attention to the ritualistic killing of disabled Ghanaian children deemed to be possessed by evil spirits. Many parents argued that the barbaric action is justified because it is deeply rooted in the norms of the land! Reports from Tanzania continue to deliver news of the killing of albinos by people who say they are a gateway to colossal wealth. Many Africans have been quick to attack these actions even when those practicing them argue they are “African”. And many of the same people say two men who confess to love each other must die because that is “un-African”. I don’t get it? Can someone tell me what is “African” and what is not?

To me, the likelihood of a life being lost is just synonymous with human savagery. In all three scenarios, humans assume they have the moral authority over life and can use it anyway they want. What makes the man who calls for the killing of those men from the chief somewhere in Ghana who insists a paraplegic child is “demonic” and should be killed or the man somewhere in Tanzania about to slit open the throat of an albino to become rich?

Oh Stone stop it.

Put down your stones. I am not trying to sell any ideas to you or woo you into joining me on this bench of thought but if you want to go ahead and question or even attempt to answer some of the questions above, maybe let me give my understanding of “rights” and “wrong”

I will use some of the arguments this post might have built. The killing of those children and albinos is wrong; everyone has a right to life and no one has the right to take the life of another. End of story.

Awhile back, someone argued that if gay men say they have rights, “then why not let pedophiles have it their way?” The mister who posed the question failed to answer one I fired in retaliation. On establishing they had young children, I asked, “Would you let a man sleep with your 5-year-old daughter?” This man is one who NEVER wants to lose an argument and given that that very one was on whether we can compare gay men with pedophiles, his answer was quite ridiculous. “Yes. If he (pedophile) wanted”. Quite eyebrow-raising and I hope that was just for the argument.

Why did I bring up that exchange? To me, sex is wrong when adult meets child. In this case, a five-year-old is in no position biologically or psychologically to have sex. That is common sense. Also, sex is wrong when it goes against the will of one of the parties involved. Rape, marital rape (yes, a husband can RAPE his wife so I believe)… Anything outside that, unless otherwise, I will not raise a finger to rebuke anyone because as a mere mortal, I feel I have no right to judge.

So Stone what do you think of the Anti-Gay Bill?

The infamous piece of legislation that has put Uganda on some sort of “Worst Places To Be Gay” list focuses on adults; as I might have hinted, I am not sure humanity ever has power over people that consider themselves in position to make decisions whether they are right or wrong. Point? It is high time some parents cut out the village excitement. Take care of your ‘littluns’. It is an opportunistic world out there. Add “perverted” to that list. A bill drafted and passed by a group of men doesn’t raise your boy or girl. The laws put in place to punish men that defile or rape have never stopped those despicable actions from happening. The truth is, it is the responsibility of any parent or guardian to do whatever is necessary and be there because as fast as the rising-setting mechanism of the sun, they soon grow out of the ‘littlun’ pod and compile their own list of “rights” and definition of what is “wrong”. You miss that chance, it is gone.

This is one of those posts that get you “are-you-gay-or-not” questions and little inbox lecturers but before you throw me the obvious, take time to construct an argument. I am a Christian, I am Ugandan-Kenyan, I am African…but while all those tags come with certain “rights” and “wrong”, above all of them, I AM HUMAN. And each day, I yearn more to identify myself by that last tag.

Follow @SongaStone





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