Thursday

Zanzibar Against Homosexual Acts

Zanzibar, a popular holiday destination off the coast of East Africa, has decided to outlaw gay and lesbian acts. What in the world for? The bill was reportedly backed by both the ruling party, Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM), and the Civic United Front (CUF), one of the rare occassions the two have agreed on anything. What the hell for? It is a mystery to me why a democratic country may want to slap a 7-year jail-term, or any jail-term, on "those in lesbian relationships." It is utterly preposterous and is an example of what slows down Africa's democratic upswing.
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Anglican bishops in Africa have also decided to jump on the anti-homosexual bandwagon. They are holding a meeting in Kenya to decide whether to continue accepting money from occidental churches that ordain gay bishops. Nigeria's Archbishop Peter Akinola contends that the ordination of gay bishops is a Satanic attack on the church. Whoa! On what grounds is this contention based? Unhappily, neither the archbishop nor other attendees of the meeting tell us.
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Central to the question may be the debate on whether homosexuality is genetic or learned. Searching for and perhaps finding homosexual genes may, indeed, help some people accept homosexuality. That's the Aha-It-May-Be-Natural-After-All school of thought. But it's just another cover-up for flawed thinking and intrinsic bigotry, just as the whole debacle is often a cover-up and a hiding place for crimes committed by despots.

I haven't been able to find legal mention concerning homosexuality in Lesotho law. Across the continent, it is generally illegal for gay men in 29 countries and for lesbian women in 20 countries. There are nine countries in Africa where the guys running the show think it's a bad idea for men to make out, but a great idea for women to make out. Go figure.