Violence about and toward gays in some quarters of Africa appears to be one of the ticking bombs of that continent's present reality.
The Washington Post's Sudarsan Raghavan offers an extended, helpful, and disconcerting roundup. The problem, it would seem, is not so much homosexuality as it is the influence of the West - the perception of culture wars, in effect.
Moses Solomon Male, a pastor, said gays were exaggerating their plight to get more funding from Western rights groups and seek asylum in the United States and Europe.
"Homosexuality is not inborn," he said. "So it's not inherent as a right."
... and ...
"The world is under siege by homosexuals," [journalist Giles] Muhame said. "They want to control the world, and they are starting with Africa."
Muhame's quoted elsewhere in the story, too, saying, "The Bible condemns homosexuality... You know what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah? It is like murder. It is like terrorism." (Of course, getting to actually know someone who's gay, especially in a place where being gay could potentially get you executed, is usually harder than stereotyping. Stereotyping saves time, smoothes out the rough edges of our conscience.)
This all comes at the end of a week that saw Malawi's Parliament pass
... a law adding lesbian sodomy to its list of criminalized sexual perversions, despite international pressures to eliminate such laws.
And why? Gender "equality," apparently.
Unlike homosexual relations between men, female homosexuality was not previously contained in the penal code. The bill was introduced as a bid to ensure greater equality between men and women.
The association [called Secular Humanism] ‘observes that “there are many Malawian homosexuals who have never had any contact with westerners or so-called ‘homosexual culture’.”.
Meanwhile, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo:
... politicians are turning their attention ... to legislation that will criminalize homosexuality. This fall, lawmakers are evaluating a new bill that identifies homosexuality as a sexual practice against Nature. The current version of the bill does not stop at criminalizing the ‘heinous” crime of consensual same-sex relations, but will also imprison anybody who promotes the rights of LGBTI persons, making “all associations that promote or defend sexual relations against nature” forbidden in Congo.
All this, on a week in which David Bahati, Ugandan MP and mover of the kill-the-gays bill, was denied entry into a conference in the U.S. but used the occasion to do a little self-promotion with an incredulous Rachel Maddow. Bahati mostly kept his head down and stuck to talking points while Maddow jabbed. He intoned,
God’s law is always clear that the wages of sin is death whether that is implemented through legislation like mine or by a mechanism of a human being whatever happen is the end result that we need to turn to God if we have sinned.
What makes me almost sorry for Bahati is how sincerely he believes his own propaganda, even pleading at one point with Maddow for people outside of Uganda to respect their laws and opinions just as they respect the laws and opinions of others.