Antwi-Danso's Politics of Gay-Bashing
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
In Bob Marley's reggae classic "One Love," the famed and immortalized singer-composer-guitarist has the following lines: "There is one question/ I'd really love to ask:/ Is there a place for the hopeless sinner,/Who has hurt all mankind just/ To save his own beliefs?"
This theme of ideological oppression, and repression, underlies all political discussions bordering on the self-righteous imposition of one cultural form, or behavioral mode, against another. We have traveled this treacherous road before. For instance, as a firebrand African traditionalist, with a few unavoidable exceptions, such as my good friend Sydney Casely-Hayford, I really think that we need to enact laws to prevent Slavo- Europhiliacs like Dr."Vladimir" Antwi-Danso from polluting and inferiorizing indigenous Akan culture.
And so, I am deeply amused to hear Dr. Antwi-Danso call on the government to clearly define the meaning of marriage, in order to legally proscribe Ghanaian gays, lesbians, transsexuals and bisexuals from having their conjugal relationships officially recognized as such (See "Antwi-Danso: Ghana's Laws Must Clearly Forbid Gay Marriage" Ghanaweb.com 7/27/13).
Well, I have news for the Legon international relations scholar; and it is that polygamy of the incestuous type that runs so rampantly riotous in northern Ghana, and which has caused indescribable grief to many a female victim and a child, will also have to be put on the table; for not all Ghanaians want to live with this kind of economically and morally regressive practice. Then also, mainstream polygamy or, properly speaking, polygyny, must be tabled and be discussed and addressed.
Indeed, part of my avid revulsion for the Nkrumaist type of wholesale geopolitical pan-Africanism has to do with the immense cultural diversity of the inhabitants of the African continent. For while it cannot be gainsaid that our strength lies in the unity of our numbers, nevertheless, the basis upon which such unification is predicated is as significant as the very process of the unification itself.
The problem that one has with Dr. Antwi-Danso's statutory campaign against the LGBT community is that it is patently anti-Christian and blasphemously hegemonic, the much-touted Old Testament edict against homosexual existence in the Ten Commandments notwithstanding. Indeed, Jesus must have clearly and deeply appreciated the patently impractical cultural limitations of the ancient regime, thus his pontifical proclamation to the salutary effect of him having come to fulfill the statutory diarchy of the Law and the Prophets, by both radically revising and expanding the parameters of these two salient ingredients of Judeo-Christian culture.
In other words, even as Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and former Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town Desmond Tutu recently intimated, a homophobic God is not one who can aptly and confidently answer to His/Her all-inclusive role and designation as Divine Providence. And this is a riddle that I hope the unicorn-minded Ghanaian clerical community may find worthwhile to use as grist for rumination.
In the past, the equivalent of the socially unacceptable "gayness" was the ideological crime of having been born non-Aryan and non-white; that was what the entire project of German Nazification was all about. It would also take the form of gender oppression. Indeed, what woefully misguided and parochially self-righteous Ghanaian social scientists like Dr. Antwi-Danso ought to be doing presently is to be meaningfully engaged with frontline scientists on the largely genetic question of human sexuality, as well as floral and faunal sexuality, in order to more fully appreciate the issues at stake in the discourse on what constitutes cultural and behavioral normalcy.
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
July 27, 2013