Same Sex Relationships: A Democratic Wrong

Tue, 26 Jul 2011 Source: Alfa, Abdur Rahman Shaban

Decency versus Democracy I contend is apt relative to what has over the last few months become one of the hottest and trickiest topics to engage in at personal and group rising as far as to the national debate platform.

Its implications have proven to traverse several social strata with each espousing a certain line of thought: the topic has stoked fires politically, medically, traditionally, religiously and more contentiously within the legal realm.

Same sex relationships: better still gay/homosexuality and lesbianism is up for debate and rightfully so, so as to clarify certain positions and establish a locus on the issue.

In principle, no one person should be held on the account of an ideal that he sticks to for whatever reason (emphasis on good/bad) what we must concern ourselves with is the very act for which they are engaged and by which we find them as going astray.

In other words; a solution to the current crisis of same sex relationships – which is a stark reality we must not try to brush aside in anyway – would and should not be of the actor but of the act itself.

Admitted though that the two (actor and act) are to a large extent inseparable; pursuance of the actor in order to rectify the act is a false step, in other words the invective throwing and vilification of gays and lesbians is not the way to go.

Having laid that background, let’s delve into perspectives along the lines of the fires the practice has stoked in current discourse.

POLITICALLY Is it not interesting how guarded they are being on this issue? It sure beats the imagination that they are being courteous and diplomatic, it is most unlike them but I guess it is the more reason why they are called politicians.

For the MAJORITY of politicians who have appeared on media platforms to voice their opinions on the subject, I have noticed a trend where a number of them are quick to shroud their commentary with views expressed being theirs and not of their parties, at worst they send a cheeky back pass to the judicial regime to test what the statutes say.

Clearly in order not to fall foul of perhaps a group of the voting populace who might be indulged in the act under discussion: and as we all are well aware our kind of politics has everything to do with numbers, get the drift?

So is it not obvious that for their own parochial ends – I dare say as is usually the case – these politicians are playing hide and seek on this topic. I wait for the day that one political party would come out ostensibly to state their position on the matter.

RELIGIOUSLY This is by far the most outspoken and definitive perspective to the raging debate, worthy of note however is that there seems to be what I suspect to be an uncoordinated, a fairly balanced position by religious groups and for a simple reason.

The reason being that the scriptures (Muslim and Christian) are unequivocal on the topic, the current state of affairs is just a playback of what ensued years back in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, a town God destroyed because of same sex unions.

I guess majority of us would agree that we cannot rewrite what God has put down as clear limits, transgression of man would lead us to nowhere but to destruction, If we believe in the entirety of our respective scriptures; what do the same scriptures say?

A simple message that homosexuality or lesbianism is most abhorrent, unnatural and hated in the sight of the Almighty. The Christian Council of Ghana and the office of the National Chief Imam; have both condemned the act so far.

The clergy for speaking against the act of homosexuality have come under some bashing of sorts by a section of the public and some people within the legal fraternity with the back and forth about carnal and unnatural carnal knowledge etc.

LEGALLY Here is where a big problem that beats the imagination crops up, when people try to see divine dictate as secondary to laws written by man; let it be told to the lawyers that for some of us; ANY LAW (LOCAL/INTERNATIONAL) THAT FLOUTS IN OUR CASE – ISLAMIC TENETS – IS NULL AND VOID: IN OTHERWORDS IT DOES NOT EXIST.

About how homos or lesbians can be arrested as the act is done within in private, question is; but for this ‘wrong’ that has crept into society, was sex between man and woman not a private affair? With the exception only in cases of rape, defilement etc.

It is sucking for a person as Hannah Bossman – former acting commissioner of the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to have accused the church of being intolerant on the topic.

In one vein she echoes our position that the act rather than the person be addressed but relative to citing Jesus and his tolerance, maybe someone should have reminded her that Jesus ever cracked the whip when he saw people doing wrong, I won’t ask why but I can tell that he (Jesus) was far from being intolerant.

The Islamic position on writing a wrong is to stop it with the hand if able so to do, next step is to use communication (the stage we are at in this same sex relationship crisis) the last resort being to have a feeling of disgust within one’s heart on the particular issue you could not solve.

TRADITIONALLY Before the advent of religion, the bond that held society together was the traditional glue, we may have shed off a considerable amount of them but a significant number of them still hold good and form what clearly is the common sense component of our dealing.

Sexual relationships have since Adam being between the opposite sex, the mere fact that some people of the same sex decide to sexually engage each other has absolutely no basis in tradition, as it does not in religion.

By that, people engaged in these acts can hardly proclaim outward that they are of that orientation for the simple reason that accepted norms do not permit what could best be described as a grave deviation from what is ideal.

Our biggest threat as a people with traditional values is the wholesale adoption of western values, if for nothing at all bold gays and lesbians started off in the west, where they have virtually ‘bought’ their way into influential ranks of the society.

So bad is the situation that even traditional clergy, have failed to exert or assert divine dictates, failure to which even priests are allowed to be gay, by this other equally outrageous demands in future could sneak in sadly, pathetically and disturbingly so.

MEDICALLY I would borrow the words of the Presbyterian moderator who said his church irrespective of the position taken by the mother church were not going to accept diaper wearing priests.

The issue of diapers comes up for discussion on the basis that unnatural as homos especially flout nature’s law, the man (who acts as the woman) has his bowels being enlarged and has to seek solace in wearing pampers.

Then is the medically proven fact that the act amongst men increased the risk relative to the contraction and spread of the deadly Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs): what at all is man after?

CONCLUSION No amount of convincing by anyone can be stronger than that of the creator who in his infinite wisdom ordered that the process of procreation is between man and woman: the same process through which the homosexuals were born.

To reiterate an earlier point, the scourge as above discussed is a reality that cuts through all sectors of our society without doubt, the threats thereof are real and palpable and affects us all.

You never know, it may be that family relation, your bosom friend, a very respected acquaintance, the very man you sit next to in the bus or walk side by side in the streets, but does that make them any less human? NO! your hatred and disgust should be aimed at the act and not the perpetrators.

Clearly there is the need for counseling for people engaged in that act, and I guess discounting what effect prayers could have in the general scheme is not the way to go: a word of prayer for such people is always a positive step.

Our prayer and hope as a group (Confidence Muslim Youth Association [CMYA]) is for a day when we can with one accord point to significant gains in reverting homos to the ‘normal’ social plane and that day we know is soon.

May Allah the Almighty have mercy on us, not hold us for our transgressions but to keep us safe.

© Abdur Rahman Shaban Alfa (Secretary of CMYA) alfarsenal@yahoo.com/confimya@gmail.com

Columnist: Alfa, Abdur Rahman Shaban