Don’t for a second assume that I’m a member of the homosexual-bashing bandwagon. In fact, on the issue of whether homosexuality should be a criminal offence, I’m on the side of those who believe that it’s archaic to have a law that criminalises an act that happens between two consenting adults.
In fact, I’ve had many an argument with colleagues and friends about the very topic of gay rights. Often the argument that the anti-gay proponents give is that “God made man and woman…and man/man or woman/woman is unnatural”.
My answer is this, “as long as we live in a secular state, that recognises the right of its citizens to worship any god they like, or not worship a god at all, then any law that gets its raison d’etre from Christian scripture, or any other kind, should not be given any time of day”.
In Uganda an MP, David Bahati, is introducing an anti-gay bill in parliament because he believes the ‘homos’ are negatively influencing Ugandan youth. Good luck to him. His is a losing battle.
Homosexuality is as old as mankind, so pretending that it’s a non-African ‘thing’ is plain stupid.
However, it becomes tricky for me to justify my pro-gay stance when it enters the religious sphere. I’ll have to agree with the Archbishop of the Church of Rwanda, Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Kolini, who yesterday condemned the decision of an Anglican diocese to elect an openly gay member of the clergy, Rev. Canon Mary Douglas Glasspool, as the bishop of the diocese of Los Angeles.
While I’ll be the last person to call myself even slightly religious, I do happen to have read something written in Genesis, the first book of the Bible, about ‘filling’ the earth. And I’m sure that despite their best efforts, a gay couple will never have natural offspring.
I think that it’s rather silly to be ‘living in sin’, in the Christian sense, and then want to assume a position of responsibility in the Christian church. I mean, rules are rules.
You cannot have your cake and expect to eat it as well. If you had an openly gay person stand for political office in a nation that banned homosexuality, he’d be laughed at…and promptly thrown into the coolers; no matter how qualified he was for political office.
While I’m certainly not advocating for anyone’s imprisonment, I’m just saying if you want to be an upholder of certain standards, then you must stand by them, not pick and choose which ones are most convenient.
While it hurts my liberal nature to say so, the religious pulpit isn’t the place for Mary Douglas Glasspool, Gene Robinson or any other gay person.
While it is certainly not my right to say what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’, the very teachings they want to propagate states unequivocally that they are engaging in ‘unnatural acts’ that their god ‘hates’. If your god finds the things you do disgusting, what in the world are you doing standing in the pulpit?
Sunny Ntayombya is an editor with The New Times.