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Opinions Fri, 30 Sep 2011

A Homosexual's view on the act

First let me introduce myself. My name is Michael Karger and I'm an American national living in Accra. As a university student, I've been studying government and interning at a human rights advocacy group.

As part of my internship, I've taken on the task of constructing a comprehensive record of homosexuality both in contemporary Ghanian politics and historical Africa. Your comments are an embarrassment to reason and your English skills are hopelessly inadequate to express any meaningful opinion on any subject, let alone something as complex as human sexuality.

You spend time arguing cultural relativism to explain the belief that it's okay for Americans to promote homosexuality, but not Ghanians. But you then proceed to vilify homosexuality as ungodly and compare it to bestiality.

Your arguments are completely inconsistent. Either the morality of homosexuality is based on a subjective perspective from within the realm of culture or it's objectively abhorrent because your God put forth such a mandate. The two arguments are mutually exclusive. Subjectivism vs. Objectivism.

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Nonetheless, I'm going to address both arguments. The first dealing with cultural relativism is something I've investigated extensively throughout my academic career. I've come to the conclusion that you completely misunderstand the concept. Cultural relativism states that each society or culture was formed from different origins and may have customs and beliefs that, while different from one another, are all equally valid. This is made under the assumption that the beliefs being discussed are reasonable and justifiable.

For instance, one society may support a parliamentary government while another may support a bicameral legislature paired with an executive and judicial branch. Or some societies have a deep inclination towards certain types of sports or recreational activities. These differences in belief are largely amoral and one could be celebrated while ignoring the other with little consequence. This is the true understanding of cultural relativism.

You make the assumption that it's entirely alright for Ghanians to foment hatred towards homosexuals because it's culturally expedient even admitting to the fact that other countries support gay rights. Your assertion makes absolutely no sense. How can one society justifiably support the rights of homosexuals while another throws them in jail?

Human rights, being exceptionally moral judgements, are universal. It therefore cannot be argued with any real gusto that cultural relativism has anything to do with homophobia. This is not a matter of opinion. It's not inconsequential. We are dealing with human lives. The difference between denying gay rights and accepting them is astronomical.

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So the question becomes which society has the correct beliefs? Well, let's make this assumption that was originally promoted by classical liberals like JS Mill. Self-regarding actions, actions dealing only with the personal (individual), do not harm others.

Homosexuality is a self-regarding action. And study after study has come out to show that there is nothing wrong medically or socially with homosexuals. They possess the same ability to raise children. They are capable of normal, healthy relationships. They are just as intelligent as everyone else. There's nothing separating them from the rest of society OTHER than their sexual preference. Which, again, has nothing to do with you or I. It's, frankly, none of your damn business.

So, which society is correct? The one that is pushing for more personal liberty or the one seeking to invade a persons bedroom? Your culture is wrong. Not in a subjective kind of way. Ghanian culture regarding homosexuality is wrong. Universally incorrect.

With that in mind, let's now address your argument that homosexuality is abhorrent because God says so. How many religions do you subscribe to? My guess is only one. You probably believe in only one God and one master text (Talmud, Quran, Bible). Now ponder the billions of other individuals in the world who do not subscribe to the same religion. Do you think they would concede to your beliefs? Absolutely not. Because religious belief, namely faith, is entirely subjective.

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Let's, for a moment, imagine a world where it is morally imperative that the "correct" religion rule over all and dictate every aspect of life. If you were to bring your religion before a governing body, who's purpose is to pick the universally correct religion, what would you say in order to prove that your religion is more correct than Islam? Judaism? Christianity? Paganism? Buddhism? Taoism? Voodoo?

What exactly would you say that elevates your religion against all others? Why should we believe your religion is the one and only truth? The answer, of course, is that there is no answer. Each religion is as equally valid (or invalid) as the other because faith exists outside the realm of the logical.

So how could you possibly say that your religion's beliefs on homosexuals should be used to dictate the rule of law? Why would you argue that your religious beliefs are good enough to justify condemning another person for having a different sexual orientation?

If we gave legal weight to religious belief, crushing contradictions would be made the law. The law depends on objectivity. Without a unified set of laws, man exists in chaos.

It can be objectively proven that homosexuality is not harmful at all to society; that homosexuals are normal and capable individuals. There is therefore no logical reason to discriminate them in any manner. It's no different than protection of the rights of people with different skin color or gender.

I highly suggest that you reevaluate your position on this subject as your beliefs are wholly inadequate and only serve to damage society and harm innocent individuals

Sincerely

Michael Karger

Columnist: Karger, Michael