Thursday, December 8, 2011

Africa Is Burning: How Clinton's Speech Has Inflamed Nigeria And The Homophobia Exporters.

Being gay is not a Western invention; 
it is a human reality.

And Even Rick Perry got into the act.:
“Just when you thought Barack Obama couldn’t get any more out of touch with America’s values, AP reports his administration wants to make foreign aid decisions based on gay rights.
We can see the flames from Africa now, and they are not coming from bonfires declaring liberty for LGBTQ people. They are the flames coming from countries like Uganda and Nigeria. They are the flames of anger and vengeance being wreaked upon gay communities. Where the fires came from, however, is something that should concern everyone in America, because, like some perverted Prometheus, America's Christian Right gave Africa it's fires. Clinton was right to say being gay was not a Western invention, however, she should also have said that homophobia was certainly a Western invention, promoted in Africa by Christian Right leaders such as Scott Lively, Lou Engle and, to a certain extent, Rick Warren. 

The Christian Right's exportation of homophobia has been happening over a number of years, well ahead of the "Kill-the-gays" bill in Uganda. 

Think Progress has a good list of Christian Right reactions including Rick Santorum, Peter LaBarbera (Americans for Truth About Homosexuality), Peter Sprigg (Family Research Council), Matt Barber (Liberty Counsel) and Pat Robertson, who warned of God's wrath and claimed that it's really Christianity that's being persecuted (see below).

"I kissed a girl and liked it - 
and I got ten years in jail."

Nigeria has reacted so strongly to Clinton's speech that it purportedly added MORE offenses in its anti-gay bill. "To hell with them," said lawmaker Jakari Mohammed, referring to other denouncing the bill. It could  be argued that Nigeria has seen same-sex "marriages" for centuries (actually as part of a surrogate tradition, with a woman marrying another woman for her husband), but somehow traditions have a way of disappearing and appearing when according to expediency. 

According to the current bill, kissing in public would be an offense punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Anti-gay vendettas - like those in Uganda - will become rife in the most corrupt country in the world. 

And Nigeria has never been alone in its attitudes about gays. Here is a list of countries that could definitely be cut off from American aid:

     Algeria  Angola  Botswana  Cameroon  Egypt  Gambia  Ghana  Guinea*  Lesotho  Liberia  Libya        Malawi*  Mauritania  Mauritius   Morocco  Nigeria  Senegal   Sierra   Leone   Somalia  South Sudan Sudan   Swaziland   Tanzania   Togo  Tunisia  Uganda  Zambia   Zimbabwe  

*carry the death penalty for homosexuality.


Clinton's speech was concise and eloquent (a full transcript is HERE), and the group gave her a standing ovation, so what did she say in particular that inflamed so many Africans and "social conservatives" like Rick Perry? 
1. Many LGBT Americans have endured violence and harassment in their own lives, and for some, including many young people, bullying and exclusion are daily experiences.
Notice the inclusion of "bullying." Clinton has taken on the newest, most sensitive issue facing the Christian Right: it opposes anti-bullying laws unless dispensations are made for religious beliefs. And while Tony Perkins screams "we're not not the ones who cause teen suicides," people are beginning to note just how many cases are connected to "you're going to hell" accusations.
2. Now, raising this issue, I know, is sensitive for many people and that the obstacles standing in the way of protecting the human rights of LGBT people rest on deeply held personal, political, cultural, and religious beliefs. So I come here before you with respect, understanding, and humility.
It's the last part they can't stomach, because they don't believe the Left has anything but disrespect, ignorance and hubris when it comes to Christian Right dictums.
3. The third, and perhaps most challenging, issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens. This is not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.
How dare she compare discrimination against gays to hideous acts like widow burning! She's talking about pagan, anti-Christian practices!
4. I am also pleased to announce that we are launching a new Global Equality Fund that will support the work of civil society organizations working on these issues around the world.
Taxpayer money used to forward a perverted agenda!

We will be hearing about reactions to this speech for quite some time, with politicos screaming about how the Obama administration is pandering to gays and how this foray into world cultures will signal Armageddon.

Stay in your seats. The circus performances are just starting.

No comments: