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WHERE DO THE HOMOSEXUALS GO FROM HERE?

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By the provisions of the recently passed anti-homosexuality bill, the Nigerian Senate has explicitly condemned and criminalised homosexuality in Nigeria. The bill if passed by the second chamber – the House of Representatives – and accented to by President Goodluck Jonathan sternly hands a 14-year jail term for homosexuals in Nigeria. The bill also bars Nigerians from indulging in whatsoever actions that promotes advocates, advertises or aids and abets the practice of homosexuality.

Expectedly, the West, in her pursuit of freedom, and equal rights for all peoples, had prior to the passage of this bill, sounded an unambiguous caution to sub-Saharan African leaders that they may withdraw aids to States where homosexuals are haunted or treated unequally with their majority heterosexual compatriots. They repeated same threats few hours after the pronouncement by Senate President David Mark.

But he did a first. Senator David Mark did what many Nigerian leaders in today’s political reality can ever imagine let alone do. He not only personally superintended over the passage of the bill, he rubbed it in by calling the bluff of Mrs Hillary Clinton and her President, Mr Barack Obama. Yes, he dared the United States of America. The Senate President openly challenged Britain, Canada and other pro-gay Western powers by handing them a strict warning not to “interfere” in the governance of our own country as Nigerians do not meddle into theirs. In fact he straightforwardly and daringly asked them to go “to hell” with their aids.

In that respect, that is not a bad one from the Senate President. I have always said that Nigeria’s challenge is a local problem and can only be cured locally not Westerly. We can learn from their gaffes and give ears to their counsels but their opinions must not continuously form the basis of our crucial decisions and national development.

That said, what next for homosexuals in Nigeria? Go fit their neck in the noose? Go quietly serve a 14-year jail term? Or seek asylum in Western lands? The latter as I hear is already being heavily exploited by even non-gays. Is the West geared up to accommodate the legion of asylum seekers on the altar of gay rights? This is where the discourse starts.

The author, just like every other archetypal Nigerian firmed in the conservative Nigerian society’s moral roots disapprove of the conception of a man making love to another man or a woman doing the thing with her kind. One feels it is a contemporary sexual aberration that with due respect to gays seems palpably nauseating.

Our world of today is faced with loads of fresh challenges moral values. Homosexuality is one. Bisexuality, transgenderism and bestiality are others. Hate we may, but the unblemished truth is, homosexuality might be a modern Western invention but has today become a present-day human reality.

How about bisexuality? I remember reading sometime ago that one of the biggest misconceptions straight people have about this subject is that they assume that once one is married to the opposite sex, s/he is by default heterosexual and may never be gay. Lie! In order to disguise their true orientation, many have been known to get married to a spouse of the opposite sex – and even birth kids – yet continue their amorous adulterous affairs with their gay boyfriend or lesbian girlfriend who many a time are close family friends.

Come to think of it, if we could cry this loud at the practice of homosexuality, our reactions to the steadily mounting act of bestiality would definitely be better imagined than real. It may still be unthinkable in Nigeria, but in some other climes, humans have now been known to physically indulge in sexual intercourses with animals. I will not elucidate on this weird condescending human sexual (mis)adventure.

I have deliberately opted out of the idea of discussing transgenders – yet another unconventional group incidental to the homosexuals. I feel it is otiose discussing fellows who voluntarily subject selves to long medical procedures only to get artificial physical transformation to the opposite sex.

Meanwhile, make no mistake about this: the author is a proud full-blooded heterosexual, happily nuptial-knotted to a woman, and asexually relishes the companies of such wonderfully created complementary mortals. This thoroughgoing straight fellow is also an unrepentant realist and an unpretending pragmatist.

However, the truth must be asserted. Issues must not be x-rayed solely within some parochial primordial considerations but on the broad premise of reality –as they actually are and how they interrelate with every other element within. Victimization is victimization even if the victim is a condemned sinner.

Granted, homosexuality is an irregular sexual orientation which with respect to our cherished mainstream culture is somewhat a deplorable aberration, but definitely not a crime in itself as the distinguished Nigerian Senate seeks to make us believe. One is neither a trained criminologist nor an expert in law, but I feel confident to opine – with due respect to the Senators – that homosexuality is not justifiably criminal. I am willing to take classes here anyway!

There are homosexuals in our society and always will be. And chances are, the numbers will keep going on the ascendancy every day, every time, everywhere. The 14-year jail term and such other provisions appear to me more as strategies aimed at the intimidation and persecution of an eccentric unpopular minority by an unsympathetic overwhelming demographic majority than as a conscientious remediation of a societally objectionable act.

But how did we get here? Man has got oodles of abilities to invent, but I wish to reference a sensible line that forms a selling slogan of Pirelli Tyres – the popular tyre manufacturing company – “power is nothing without control”. Therefore, ability is not enough as control too is essential - perhaps equally as essential. In my opinion, these insalubrious acts of copulation are by-products of modern man’s unreasonable quest for boundless liberty and limitless freedom in an all-of-a-sudden “free world”.

Referenced to the bible-based days of the old Sodom and Gomorrah, a few years back, this practise was tagged sodomy and considered an act of the Devil by Christians. Today, the tune has changed. Christianity has become disunited on the place of homosexuality in the religion. The controversy has occasioned some reformations and deformations in some ecclesiastical arrangements triggering reviews of dogmas to either accommodate the practice or accentuate objection (to the practice).

Christianity, the hitherto foremost and firmest opposition to homosexuality now showcases faithful homosexuals not just amongst the packed laity but as high up in the religious hierarchical order as pious priests and saintly bishops of dioceses. Now, same-sex marriages have become routine events in some churches.

Dear straight Nigerians, do you still honestly need anyone to convince you that homosexuality has come to stay in the world?

Be not surprised, the global LGBT (Lesbian – Gay – Bisexual and Transgender) movement is one of the most heavily funded causes in the world today. A lot of rich, influential and famous figures contribute heavily to the gay rights crusades. For those who may not know this, know now that some of the most celebrated actors, sportsmen, statesmen, actresses, singers, politicians, journalists, and even world figures are gays and lesbians. Others are earnestly sympathetic to their cause. Very many more are bisexuals.

Come to think of it, have you not wondered how quickly the anti-homosexuality debate in Ghana, Uganda and Nigeria spread across the globe – and the powerful threats and rejections that followed pronto? Does it not surprise you the volume of media coverage gay rights campaigns and the condemnation of anti-gay initiatives get in the Western media? That should give a clue as to the futility of the crusade against homosexuality.

You may persecute them – many have suffered abuses and tortures; you may chase them away – many have fled their home towns and countries; you may imprison them – many have suffered more agonies than that; you may subject them to what according to a CNN documentary some South Africans call “corrective rape” – a dehumanizing ordeal which most of them continue to withstand. You may even slaughter them – just as several of them have been murdered.

But as it stands, homosexuality, as hard as you and I disapprove of it, has come to stay in the world, in Nigeria, in your state, in your city, and who knows in your work place - and possibly in your (extended) family.

You had better join me to tow the conclusion of some Christians to say it is perhaps an unmistakeable sign of the End-time. In case you find that to be too religious a line to cling to, you may quietly adopt that which I too have already incorporated which is the recently repealed US Military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy in dealing with friends, colleagues, associates and acquaintances. You may never know.

This will save you the rather spontaneous temptation of treating people prejudicially on accounts of their sexual orientation. Or, better still, like other people’s nasty characters, you may just learn to live with it since you cannot change them. Because, like prostitution, you cannot wipe out homosexuality from the face of the earth. Neither can we simply wish it away! I wish we could, but, no. Never! I’m sorry.

Written by By Philips Akpoviri. Facebook: www.facebook.com/PhilipsAkpoviri. Twitter: www.twitter.com/PhilipsAkpoviri

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