In an unexpected turn of events, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni agreed last year to meet with the British Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who has been very open in his support for same-sex relationships, when he paid him a courtesy call at State House in Entebbe, Uganda on Thursday. Uganda which initially made efforts to institute the death penalty for homosexuality invalidated and reversed this law in late The state of same sex relations in Africa takes a different twist In Kenya. You have to look and act like a yan daudu to be called one. There have been other indicators that the transition from boyhood to adulthood within many African ethnic groups involved same-sex sexual activities. According to a study done by Pew Global Attitudes Project in , at least 95 percent of Tanzanians believe homosexuality is an unacceptable way of life. When I have challenged people who are anti-gay, many have said that it is not our culture. It is used in South Africa to rape lesbians.
When I have challenged people who are anti-gay, many have said that it is not our culture. Full acceptance of gay people in Africa may take a while to happen but the few advances made so far point to a society that is slowly conforming to the new way of life. In South Africa, LGBT people enjoy constitutional and statutory protection from discrimination at work, school, and places of worship, as well as in provision of goods and services. In digging up facts I found that, while many Africans say that homosexuality is un-African, African culture is no stranger to homosexual behaviours and acts. They leave me trying to navigate my way through self-denial, rejection, love and the burden of guilt. Across Africa , if you hate gay people, you get votes. However, when you probe further, they argue that homosexuality is not in the Bible. The state of same sex relations in Africa takes a different twist In Kenya. As long as the notion that homosexuality is un-African persists, Kenyatta will receive applause, Mugabe will win elections, and parliaments across the continent will reintroduce harmful laws. It was announced that day, the legalisation of same sex marriages in South Africa. The United States President Barack Obama recently wrapped up his first major visit to Africa where he openly urged the African leaders to treat all fairly including gays, lesbians, transgender persons. Ray of Hope As political landscapes continue to change across the continent, new ideologies are slowly taking shape and societies are becoming more accepting in as far as embracing same-sex relationships is concerned. But the Bible is not our historical culture. Many same sex couples began hurrying to make preparations for their long-awaited nuptials. Many in Africa still find same sex relations intensely culturally inharmonious. It is the reason I receive death threats, which ultimately drove me into exile from my home in Nigeria. According to a study done by Pew Global Attitudes Project in , at least 95 percent of Tanzanians believe homosexuality is an unacceptable way of life. These words are neutral; they are not infused with hate or disgust. But does this mean the autocratic head of state is finally rethinking his opinion on gay people? In Mauritania, Sudan and northern Nigeria, homosexuality is punishable by death. And is Africa finally ready to embrace same-sex marriages? Although the two did not discuss the topic of homosexuality, their meeting was loaded with overtones given that President Museveni has been very critical of same-sex relations. I had to teach students about a history that is mostly unwritten. Uganda which initially made efforts to institute the death penalty for homosexuality invalidated and reversed this law in late Though King Mwanga is the most prominent African recorded as being openly gay, he was not alone.
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Africa Speaks: Homosexuality in Africa
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